Renata Schiavo, PhD, MA is a public health, health and international communication, and global health specialist with more than 20 years of experience in a variety of settings, including the United States and several countries in Europe, Latin America and Africa. Currently, she is Founding President and CEO of Health Equity Initiative, a nonprofit organization dedicated to building community, capacity, and strategic communication resources for health equity. Dr. Schiavo is also a Senior Lecturer at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, and has held academic appointments at the CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College, and New York University’s MPH program. Her courses have focused on a variety of topics, including cross-cultural health communication; global health; health communication theory and practice; community health interventions; and research and evaluation.
Renata is a member of the Cultural Competence Interest Group of the New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM); and a member of the Steering Committee of the American Public Health Association (APHA) PHEPH Health Communication Working Group (HCWG), for which she also served as 2007-2008 Chair. She is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Communication in Healthcare: Strategies, Media, and Engagement in Global Health, and serves on the Advisory Board of The Nation's Health (the APHA's official newspaper), as well as the editorial board of Cases in Public Health Communication and Marketing. Among other international affiliations, Renata is a member of the UNICEF Communication for Development (C4D) Global Web Roster; the World Health Organization's Global Technical Network for Communication for Behavioral Impact (COMBI); and the Italian group Salute-Cura-Societa’ (SaCS-Health-Cure-Society).
Dr. Schiavo is the author of the internationally acclaimed book Health Communication: From Theory to Practice(San Francisco: Jossey Bass), now in its second edition, and dozens of publications in the public health, health communication, and global health fields. She has recognized international expertise in 20+ public health, global health, and/or social development areas, and has served on scientific, expert, and review panels for leading organizations, including the World Health Organization, the National Institute of Health, and the American Public Health Association. Her work has been supported by the Office of Minority Health Resource Center, HHS Office of Minority Health; UNICEF; and the World Health Organization, among others.
Dr. Schiavo’s professional interests lie at the intersection of strategic health communication for behavioral, social and organizational change; multisectoral partnerships; health equity; community health; risk communication; and global health. Her recent work has focused on health equity/health disparities, maternal and child health, public health and humanitarian emergencies, global handwashing, childhood cancer, and malaria, among others. She is an accomplished leader and well-recognized scholar with significant experience on strategy design; research design and implementation; program design, direction, and evaluation; and professional development, capacity building, and training.
Prior to founding Health Equity Initiative, Dr. Schiavo had the pleasure of serving as Associate Professor and Director, Community Health/COMHE at the CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College; Founder and Principal, Strategic Communication Resources; Executive Vice President, Cooney Waters Group; and Head, Corporate and Marketing Communications and Social Responsibility Programs, Rhodia Farma-Brazil. Her recent consulting experience includes leading organizations such as the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP); New York University College of Dentistry; the Office of Minority Health Resource Center, HHS Office of Minority Health; Solving Kids’ Cancer; UNICEF; the World Bank, and the World Health Organization.
Renata has significant management experience as, in addition to current positions, she also served on the boards of directors of Solving Kids’ Cancer, Public Health Foundation Enterprise (PHFE), and the Italian American Committee on Education, as well as an elected voting member of the Governing Council of the American Public Health Association. Early in her career, Dr. Schiavo was a post-doctoral research scientist at Columbia University, and New York University, where she worked on numerous molecular and cell biology projects. She holds a PhD in Biological Sciences from the University of Naples (Italy) and an M.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from New York University.