Pia MacDonald

Senior Director, Applied Public Health Research

Headshot of Pia Macdonald


  • PhD, University of Michigan
  • MPH, Yale University
  • BA, University of California at Berkeley

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Pia MacDonald, PhD, MPH, CPH, has two decades of experience in domestic and international epidemiological research and public health. She has an extensive background in infectious disease epidemiology and surveillance, global health security, public health preparedness, and field epidemiology.

Dr. MacDonald serves as principal investigator and/or project director of large contracts and grants funded by the National Institutes of Health and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the areas of infectious diseases, surveillance, global health, and global health security. In her current role, Dr. MacDonald leads projects focused on strengthening countries’ capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to disease outbreaks in order to become compliant with the International Health Regulations. Additionally, she provides technical leadership for epidemiology studies and is evaluating the outbreak and public health aspects of the Zika virus. Her research interests include the epidemiology and surveillance of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

Previously on faculty for 10 years at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health, Dr. MacDonald led projects funded by the CDC, Pan American Health Organization, National Association of Country and City Health Officials, and the North Carolina Division of Public Health. At Social and Scientific Systems, she managed contracts with the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, and the National Cancer Institute. She started her career as a CDC epidemic intelligence service officer and a Peace Corps Volunteer in Thailand. Currently, Dr. MacDonald is an adjunct associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has been certified in public health by the National Board of Public Health Examiners.

In addition to more than 65 journal articles, Dr. MacDonald published the book Methods in Field Epidemiology (2012).


Global Health Security

Global Health Security: Pia MacDonald
Pia MacDonald discusses current issues at the Global Health Council's SwitchPoint 2018 event.