Cynthia Summers joined the Guttmacher Institute as Vice President for Communications & Publications in 2012 and was named Chief Operating Officer in 2015. She provides vision and creative input for a growing team of communications specialists, editors, science writers, and website and design experts. She is responsible for assuring the high quality of all products and platforms carrying the Institute’s brand, including a wide array of digital and print publications, the Institute’s website and social media. Dr. Summers also oversees the implementation and monitoring of the Institute’s strategic plan, works closely with the Board of Directors, oversees Human Resources and serves as a leading representative of the Institute at conferences, with donors and at other high-level events.
Prior to joining the Guttmacher Institute, Dr. Summers served as the Executive Director of Health Planning at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, where she identified policy, programmatic and operational opportunities to improve the city’s health care system. Her office provided support and expertise for policy development and analysis—particularly around federal health care reform—and engaged in research, surveillance and program evaluation to guide and inform departmental activities. Prior to this position, she was the Director of Take Care New York, the comprehensive health policy agenda for New York City. Before her service at the New York City health department, Dr. Summers was the Director of Marketing and Public Affairs at Danco Laboratories, a small pharmaceutical company that manufactures, markets and distributes Mifeprex (the abortion pill) in the United States. She was responsible for all media relations, patient and provider education, product marketing, investor relations, Congressional liaising and small grants programs.
Dr. Summers received her DrPH in health policy and administration from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where her research was focused on pregnancy intentions and contraceptive decision making. She received her MPH in community health from San Diego State University and her BS in biology from the University of Utah. In 2013, she received the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award from the University of Illinois at Chicago, in recognition of her contributions to the field of public health.