Dr. Leilani Francisco

Senior Scientist

“It’s not what you know, it’s how you share it. Translating research into practice is critical for improving public health. Few things are more satisfying than working with brilliant scientific researchers and helping to translate their knowledge so it can be applied in real world settings to improve public health in the most vulnerable countries around the globe."

Scientists Bio

Dr. Leilani Francisco is a Senior Research Scientist at EcoHealth Alliance, and serves as the Global Behavioral Risk Surveillance Coordinator for the USAID PREDICT-2 program.  PREDICT-2 aims to better understand pathogens of epidemic and pandemic potential by exploring disease transmission within the context of human health, animal health, and the ecological environment.  Dr. Francisco works with a multi-disciplinary team of scientists to apply this information toward the development of behavioral interventions aimed at preventing the spillover, amplification, and spread of infectious diseases.

Dr. Francisco has over twenty years of experience in the field of public health research and evaluation, the majority of which has been focused on resource-constrained countries. Her areas of expertise include program and project direction and management, strategic planning, technical assistance provision, program monitoring and evaluation, research study design, and mixed methods research (triangulation of quantitative and qualitative data). Dr. Francisco also has content knowledge expertise in the areas of global public health, epidemiology, bio-surveillance, HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, partner violence prevention, and behavior change interventions.

Dr. Leilani Francisco has conducted public health research and evaluation in Africa, Asia, Central America, the Caribbean, and North America. This includes a three-month residence in Panama where she implemented a mixed methods social network analysis, and a year in Uganda, where she led the baseline assessment for a cluster randomized controlled trial of a sociocultural community mobilization intervention to prevent HIV and violence against women.

She has directed, managed, and supported health projects for a number of agencies including but not limited to:  U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID); Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria (Global Fund); Three Millennium Development Goal (3MDG) Fund; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); National Institutes of Health (NIH); Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ); and, the U.S. Departments of Labor, Justice, and Defense.

She is an author on seven peer-reviewed publications and on over 80 technical reports for federal health agencies.  Prior to joining EcoHealth Alliance, Dr. Francisco managed a portfolio of global health projects valued at over $20 million and led Program Evaluation and Global Health Communities of Practice for a company of over 20,000 employees.

She has an undergraduate degree in Sociocultural Anthropology, a master’s degree in Applied Medical Anthropology, and a doctorate from Johns Hopkins University in International Public Health, with a focus on social and behavioral interventions.  She also holds certifications in program evaluation and project management.