Susan F. Wood

Susan Wood

Susan F. Wood


Research Professor Emerita in the Departments of Health Policy & Management and Environmental & Occupational Health and Former Director of the Jacobs Institute of Women's Health


School: Milken Institute School of Public Health

Department: Health Policy and Management


Email: Susan F. Wood
Office Phone: 202-994-4171
Milken Institute School of Public Health 950 New Hampshire Avenue, NW, Floor 6 Washington DC 20052

Susan F. Wood is a Professor Emerita in the Departments of Health Policy & Management and Environmental and Occupational Health. She is also the Former Director of the Jacobs Institute of Women's Health. 

On Capitol Hill, in the Department of Health and Human Services, at FDA, and now directing the Jacobs Institute of Women's Health, in the Department of Health Policy and Management, Professor Susan Wood has dedicated her career to applying scientific evidence to health policy decision making. She joins the School from the FDA, where she was Assistant Commissioner for Women's Health and Director of the Office of Women's Health until 2005, when she resigned on principle over the continued delay in approving emergency over-the-counter contraception.

A long-time champion of women's health, Dr. Wood previously served as Director for Policy and Program Development at the U.S Department of Health and Human Services' Office on Women's Health. Prior to joining DHHS, Dr. Wood was an AAAS Congressional Fellow and then Deputy Director of the Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues. In that capacity, she was directly involved with policy initiatives and legislative proposals designed to advance biomedical research, women's health, family planning and health care reform. Professor Wood has been honored with the FDA Commissioner's Special Citation (2004), the DHHS Secretary's Distinguished Service Award (2003) and the Keystone Award in Women's Health Research (2000), among other awards.

Environmental and Occupational Health

Maternal and Child Health

Women's Health

Bachelor of Science in Biology/Psychology, Southwestern at Memphis, 1980
Doctor of Philosophy in Biology, Boston University, 1989
Research Fellowship training in Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 1990

As a board member of the National Women's Health Network, the Reproductive Health Technologies Project, the National Center for Research on Women and Families, the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, WomenHeart, and a founding member of the board of advisors of Scientists and Engineers for America and a founding member and emeritus member of Women's Policy Inc., Dr. Wood maintains her focus on science-driven policy in public health. She has also served on the DHHS Coordinating Committee on Women's Health and on the Screening Committee of the Science Fellowship Program offered by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. 

Dr. Wood's expertise is women's health and the intersection of research, data and policymaking. In 2004, she received the Atlantic Fellowship in Public Policy to conduct research on women's health policy at the agency that regulates therapeutics in Great Britain. Prior to shifting focus to health policy, Dr. Wood engaged in basic biological research on the biochemistry of sensory transduction. She is the PI on the Scientists in Government Project, and co-PI on the DC Pharmaceutical Marketing project.