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Amelia Burke-Garcia

Pronouns: She/Her

Amelia is a seasoned health communications professional with 20 years of experience in health communication program planning, implementation, and evaluation.

At NORC, she leads the organization's Center for Health Communication Science and Digital Strategy and Outreach Program Area. In these roles, she designs and implements strategies that leverage the science of communication to influence behavior. 

Over the course of her career, Burke-Garcia has spearheaded innovative communication programs and studies on a variety of health topics. Since 2020, she has overseen the award-winning How Right Now/Que Hacer Ahora campaign, which aims to increase people’s ability to cope and be resilient. Other prior work has included acting as director for CDC’s National Influenza Vaccination Campaign. She also has worked with MeetUp groups and the Waze mobile application to move people to action around flu vaccination and HIV testing, respectively. Finally, she has been examining the role of influencers in health communication and research for more than a decade and has recently expanded this work to look at the role of AI in opinion leadership

She is the author of two books, Influencing Health: A Comprehensive Guide to Working with Social Media Influencers, and Communicating through a Pandemic: A Chronicle of Experiences, Lessons Learned, and a Vision for the Future.

She has been highlighted by U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy for her work in honor of Women’s History Month and has been named to’s list of 10 Modern Female Innovators Shaking Up Health Care. 

She is a founding member of the Society for Health Communication and sits on the Boards of Directors for the non-profits, Vaccinate Your Family and the Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice. 

She earned her bachelor’s degree in International Development Studies and Humanistic Studies from McGill University, a master’s degree in Communication, Culture, and Technology from Georgetown University, and a PhD in Communication from George Mason University.



George Mason University


Georgetown University


McGill University

Appointments & Affiliations

Board Member

Global Alliance for Behavioral Health & Social Justice

Board Member

Vaccinate Your Family

Founding Member

Society for Health Communication

Scientific Committee


Honors & Awards

Recognized by U.S. Surgeon General | 2022

From Surgeon General Vivek Murthy in honor of Women’s History Month

10 Modern Female Innovators Shaking Up Health Care | 2020

Project Contributions

Engaging Online Influencers to Address COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy

An intervention to address COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among parents of color through online influencers of color



HPV Vaccine Perceptions: Young Adults & TikTok Influencers

Engaging non-college 18- to 26-year-olds and TikTok influencers to explore perceptions of the HPV vaccine and health messaging



Partnering with Social Media Influencers as Messengers to Reduce Vaccine Hesitancy

Engaging mommy bloggers to help understand HPV vaccine hesitancy communities of color



Postpartum Emergency Care Materials Development & Testing

Applying communication science to develop, test, and promote resources supporting clinician readiness for pregnancy-related emergencies


American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists

How Right Now / Qué Hacer Ahora

A communication initiative to increase people’s resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Foundation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Older Adults Awareness of New RSV Vaccine & Willingness to Receive It

Americans over 50 increasingly aware of RSV vaccine but still divided on whether to receive it


NORC at the University of Chicago

Evaluating CDC’s Approaches to Enhancing Adult Immunization Uptake

A culturally responsive evaluation of CDC’s efforts to boost adult immunization uptake and advance equity


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention