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Michael A. Stephens Appointed Senior Policy Director at Association of Schools of Public Health
Date:3/3/2010

WASHINGTON, March 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Michael A. Stephens, MPH, has joined the Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH) in the newly created position of senior policy director.  In that capacity, he will help to strengthen and call attention to the policy expertise lodged at the accredited public health schools in North America, and engage them more actively in the national debate.

Mr. Stephens joins ASPH after three decades with the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations, where his tenure exceeded that of all but 12 members of the current Congress.  "Michael Stephens has an intimate understanding of the legislative process and knows all the players on the Hill," says Harrison Spencer, MD, MPH, ASPH's president and CEO.  "We think he will help us become a much stronger voice in the policy world."

After earning a Masters of Public Health degree from the University of North Carolina in 1973, Mr. Stephens went into government service as a Presidential Management Fellow at what was then the Department of Health, Education and Welfare.  First assigned to the Appropriations Committee on a temporary basis, his long tenure as a nonpartisan professional ultimately included positions as staff director of the Legislative Branch Subcommittee, the Interior and Environment Subcommittee, and the Labor-Health and Human Services-Education Subcommittee.  In those capacities, he had oversight responsibility for the budgets of numerous federal entities, including, at various times, the House of Representatives, the Library of Congress, the National Park Service, and the National Institutes of Health.  

Until the mid-1990s, Mr. Stephens provided analytic and technical support primarily to legislators making resource allocation decisions for the government's health and educational activities.  More recently, he has focused on environmental resources and the arts.  "Nothing I have done has been more important than my involvement with health," he says.  Mr. Stephens calls his decision to join ASPH "an opportunity to return home to health issues, bringing my experience to an organization with a very focused mission."  

Advocating for population-based approaches to biomedical research is an example of how the public health schools can weigh in on policy issues.  "We have some very talented senior people who can be big thinkers in that debate," Mr. Stephens says.  "We'll be letting policymakers know about their availability to share expertise."  He'll also help to identify the strategic policy issues of greatest concern to the schools, seek more opportunities for ASPH and its members to participate in existing coalitions, and highlight the importance of adequate resources to inform and influence policy.

The Association of Schools of Public Health, established in 1953, is the only national organization representing the accredited schools of public health in North America.  ASPH and its member schools support and strengthen public health through graduate and professional education, research, and service.  

SOURCE Association of Schools of Public Health

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