Shawna Mercer, MSc, PhD
Acting Director, Division of Epidemiology, Analysis and Library Services
Center for Surveillance, Epidemiology, and Laboratory Services
Office of Public Health Scientific Services
Shawna Mercer, MSc, PhD, is the Acting Director of the Division of Epidemiology, Analysis, and Library Services. In this position, she supports The Guide to Community Preventive Services (Community Guide), the CDC Library, and the Analytic Tools and Methods Branch—a collaborative center for developing and disseminating epidemiological and analytical tools and methods for improving population health. Dr. Mercer served most recently as Chief of the Community Guide Branch, where she oversaw the conduct of systematic reviews of population-based public health interventions, supported the independent Community Preventive Services Task Force, and facilitated dissemination and implementation of Task Force recommendations.
Dr. Mercer previously served as a Senior Health Scientist in CDC’s Office of the Chief Science Officer, where she led initiatives to bridge gaps between research, practice and policy, and developed CDC processes and systems to ensure CDC's compliance with Office of Management and Budget requirements for scientific information. Dr. Mercer earlier served as a Health Scientist and Deputy Director of CDC’s Office of Science and Extramural Research, where she oversaw a major research grant program, explored study design options for effectiveness and translation research, and evaluated participatory approaches for bridging research and practice. She started her CDC work in the Office on Smoking and Health, providing technical assistance to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, and supporting state evaluation efforts.
Before joining CDC, Dr. Mercer conducted research at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and the University of Toronto, exploring knowledge, attitudes, behavior and decision making surrounding breast, cervical, colorectal, and prostate cancer screening and genetic screening for cancer, as well as assessing physician and patient education and support for cancer and AIDS. She previously served as the Evaluation Coordinator for the Ontario Breast Screening Program—one of the first population-based cancer screening programs in the world. Dr. Mercer has a master’s degree in health behavior from the University of Waterloo, Ontario and a doctoral degree in epidemiology from the University of Toronto.