Susan Blumenthal, MD

Visiting Professor; Director's Circle Member
  • Visiting Appointments
  • Director's Office
  • Affective Computing
  • Director's Circle

Rear Admiral Susan Blumenthal MD, MPA (ret) is a member of the Media Lab Director's Circle who served for more than 20 years as a senior federal health official in the administrations of four US presidents. She was assistant surgeon general of the United States, the first ever deputy assistant secretary for women’s health and senior global health advisor in the US Department of Health and Human Services. She was also a health advisor to the White House and a research branch chief at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Dr. Blumenthal is especially known for her leadership in exposing the inequities in women’s health and in developing innovative initiatives to advance women’s health in the United States and worldwide. She has also been a pioneer in applying information technology to improve health, establishing some of the very first health websites in the US government and the "Missiles to Mammograms" initiative that transferred CIA, DOD and NASA imaging technology to improve the early detection of breast and other cancers through the development of computer assisted diagnosis and 3-D imaging. Currently, she is a clinical professor at Tufts and Georgetown Schools of Medicine, a senior fellow in health policy at New America, senior medical advisor at amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, and public health editor of the Huffington Post. Blumenthal has received numerous awards including honorary doctorates and has been decorated with the highest medals of the US Public Health Service for her national leadership, dedicated public service, and important contributions to improving health. As a leading advocate, policymaker, and national spokesperson on critical health issues facing America and the world today, she has been named by The New York Times, the National Library of Medicine, and the Medical Herald as one of the most important women in medicine and as a Rock Star of Science by the Geoffrey Beene Foundation.