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Jessica Salas-Brooks

Pronouns: She/Her

Research Scientist

Jessica is a mixed methods researcher with expertise in the effects of disparities on women’s sexual and reproductive health

Jessica is a mixed methods researcher with expertise in the sexual and reproductive health of women, including the association between racial discrimination and preterm birth disparities among Black women, HIV prevention among Black women in faith communities, and examining the context in which emerging adults make decisions related to their sexual health. At NORC, she utilizes quantitative and qualitative research methods to evaluate national-level programs focused on reducing health disparities. Skills include creating data analysis plans, conducting thematic analysis, conducting descriptive statistics, and synthesizing research findings.  

She serves as the Project Director for the Y-USA Water Safety Awareness Evaluation to address racial disparities in drowning deaths among children. She is also the Secondary Data Lead for the evaluation of the CDC’s Adult Immunization Program to improve adult vaccination uptake. Previously, she served as a Senior Scientist for the CDC's Center for State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Services (CSTLTS) evaluation of a large national initiative. Tasks included performance monitoring, such as analyzing quantitative and qualitative data.  Jessica led and contributed to an environmental scan to incorporate health equity into home visiting program performance measures for the Maternal and Child Health Bureau’s Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (HEAL-PM)

Prior to NORC, she strategically navigated each phase of the research process to anticipate and address issues that may often arise (e.g., participant recruitment and adjusting data analyses). Additionally, she conducted community based participatory research where she was able to gain invaluable insight into what it takes to manage and execute an extremely difficult research project around sensitive subject matter (women’s sexual health and African American faith communities) with an equally nuanced and complex community of participants. This work required the construction and maintenance of relationships built on trust with community stakeholders and little room for communication errors.  



Pennsylvania State University


The Johns Hopkins University


Pennsylvania State University


University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Appointments & Affiliations

Past Secretary

Sexual and Reproductive Health Section, American Public Health Association


Black and African American Employee Resource Group, NORC

Project Contributions

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

Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation Support for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Providing research, monitoring, and evaluation services to support CDC’s legacy Center for State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Support (CSTLTS)


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

HHS OMH Performance Improvement Management System

Identifying best and promising practices to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities


DHHS Office of Minority Health

OPA Technical Assistance and Logistics Support

Helping the Office of Population Affairs support its grantees


Office of Population Affairs

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