Download image:

Pamela A. Williams

Senior Research Scientist

Pamela Williams is a senior research scientist in RTI’s Center for Communication Science. Her areas of expertise include applied social psychology, health communication, program evaluation, and health behavior change. Her research focuses on enhancing the effectiveness of health communication interventions to promote health behavior change, disease self-management, and informed health care decisions. Many of her projects involve designing and/or evaluating heart disease and stroke prevention, obesity prevention, nutrition education, and diabetes self-management programs. She has managed projects or led tasks for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Veterans Health Administration, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and others. She has over 10 years of experience in qualitative and quantitative research methods, including cognitive interviewing; experimental design; and survey development. She has worked in a variety of public health subject areas, including prescription medications; heart disease and stroke prevention; nutrition, physical activity, and obesity prevention; worksite wellness; diabetes self-management; and cancer prevention and detection.


Post-Doctorate, Health Psychology, Yale University; PhD, Social Psychology, University of Houston; MS, General Experimental Psychology, Old Dominion University; BS, Psychology, James Madison University.

Latest Publications

Williams, P.A., O'Donoghue, A.C., Sullivan, H.W., Willoughby, J.F., Squire, C., Parvanta, S., et al. (2015). Communicating efficacy information based on composite scores in direct-to-consumer prescription drug advertising. Patient Education and Counseling, Advance Online Publication .
Williams, P.A., Cates, S.C., Blitstein, J.L., Hersey, J.C., Kosa, K.M., Long, V.A., et al. (2015). Evaluating the impact of six supplemental nutrition assistance program education interventions on children’s at-home diets. Health Education and Behavior, 42 (3):329-338.
O'Donoghue, A.C., Williams, P.A., Sullivan, H.W., Boudewyns, V., Squire, C., & Willoughby, J.F. (2014). Effects of comparative claims in prescription drug direct-to-consumer advertising on consumer perceptions and recall. Social Science and Medicine, 120 :1-11.
Lewis, M.A., Williams, P.A., Fitzgerald, T.M., Heminger, C.L., Hobbs, C.L., Moultrie, R.R., Taylor, O.M., Holt, S., Karns, S.A., Burton, J.A., et al. (2014). Improving the implementation of diabetes self-management: Findings from the Alliance to Reduce Disparities in Diabetes. Health Promotion Practice, 15 (2):83S-91S.
Squiers, L., Renaud, J., McCormack, L., Tzeng, J., Bann, C., & Williams, P. (2014). How Accurate Are Americans' Perceptions of Their Own Weight?. Journal of Health Communication, 19 (7):795-812.
View all publications by Pamela A. Williams (38)


  • Health Behaviors and Interventions
  • Health Communication
  • Program Evaluation
  • Obesity Prevention