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Alumni Profile


Amanda Niskar
DrPH Class of 2003
National Science Director
Arthritis Foundation, Atlanta, GA

Career Highlights

– Helene Fuld Oncology Nursing Fellow
– Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Epidemic Intelligence Service Fellow
– University of North Carolina Public Health Leadership Fellow
– German Marshall Fellow for Transatlantic Health Affairs
– Food Safety Advisor, Deloitte Food & Product Safety Team

Describe your current position.

I am the National Scientific Director for the Arthritis Foundation providing direction for all aspects of the Arthritis Foundation’s scientific program including strategic planning, scientific leadership, and development and evaluation of research activities. I am a nurse epidemiologist with expertise in analytics and translational sciences to inform decision-making for global life science and healthcare leaders. I collaborate with multi-disciplinary experts to frame strategic objectives, design and implement research, and translate results into high impact programs.

How has UNC impacted your leadership skills?

As a UNC Public Health Leadership Fellow, I learned many skillsets to be a leader such as organizational design, organizational change, strategic planning, and how to be a team player as well as a leader.

Discuss what you would consider to be your greatest achievement in your professional career and why.

My current role as the National Scientific Director of the Arthritis Foundation is my greatest achievement because I am honored to be leading scientific activities to find a faster cure and to be representing more than 50 million Americans living with arthritis and related diseases. I believe we will find a cure in my lifetime.

What are your words of wisdom to current students in the Health Policy & Management department? 

My words of wisdom are to always remember that we represent the people, and if you listen to the needs of the people you represent, you will make a difference for the better.

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Jeffrey Simms
Director of Professional Development and Alumni Relations
117 Rosenau Hall, CB #7411
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7411

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