Robyn Sobelson, PhD

Robyn Sobelson, PhD
Deputy Director
Division of Performance Improvement and Field Services
Robyn Sobelson, PhD

Current Role

Robyn Sobelson, PhD, serves as the deputy director of the Division of Performance Improvement and Field Services in CDC’s Center for State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Support. Dr. Sobelson is responsible for providing executive-level management, programmatic, and operational leadership and guidance for the division. Dr. Sobelson serves as the senior scientific advisor to the division director and provides leadership and oversight to the Performance Development, Evaluation, and Training Branch and the Field Services Branch.


In her previous two CSTLTS’s positions, Dr. Sobelson served as the deputy for applied research within Office of the Associate Director of Science and the lead scientist in the Applied Systems Research and Evaluation Branch within the Division of Public Health Performance Improvement. In both of these roles, she served as a senior scientific advisor and provided consultation and guidance across CDC and CSTLTS on research and evaluation methodologies, analytical methods, and techniques to interpret and report data for decision-making. She was also the lead evaluator for the Public Health Associate Program.

Before coming to CSTLTS, Dr. Sobelson served as a senior behavioral scientist in CDC’s Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response’s Office of the Director. In that role, she was the lead evaluator for several CDC programs focusing on community resilience and workforce development, including the Centers for Public Health Preparedness program, the Preparedness and Emergency Response Learning Centers program, and the Meta-Leadership Initiative. She also provided research, evaluation, and measurement consultation and technical assistance to internal and external partners, including the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the CDC Foundation, and the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health. Dr. Sobelson also served in various capacities within CDC’s Emergency Operations Center during the H1N1 Influenza outbreak, Deepwater Horizon/Gulf Oil Spill, and Hurricane Irene.

Before joining CDC in 2009, Dr. Sobelson worked as a management consultant to CDC, as well as an intern for the Gillette Company.

Education & Awards

Dr. Sobelson received her doctorate and master of arts in social and developmental psychology from Brandeis University and her bachelor of arts degree in psychology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Dr. Sobelson is a published author and has been recognized through numerous CDC awards for excellence in productivity, innovation, science, and leadership.

Page last reviewed: May 16, 2019