Michelle Hawks Cuellar, PhD, MSPH

Position: Associate Director

Michelle Hawks Cuellar, PhD, MSPH is the Associate Director of the Center on the Economics of Reproductive Health (CERH) at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR). Dr. Hawks Cuellar is a passionate reproductive health justice advocate with over a decade of research, policy, and implementation expertise.

Dr. Hawks Cuellar brings a life-long commitment to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR); from leading a campaign that changed her district’s policy to increase access to youth-friendly SRHR services and supplies in high school, to leading an evidence-based $1.2-million youth SRHR advocacy initiative in Latin America as Program Officer for the Ampliando el Acceso project with Advance Family Planning and International Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere Region to, most recently, completing her PhD at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Department of Population, Family, and Reproductive Health. Dr. Hawks Cuellar’s PhD dissertation focused on the contributing factors to and the implications of the recent stark declines in U.S. Latina/x fertility, which coincided with the onset of the Great Recession.

As a first-generation Latina, Dr. Hawks Cuellar serves as a bilingual Case Manager for the Baltimore Abortion Fund, a tutor with Adelante Latina, and a senior research adviser on a COVID-19 vaccine equity study with the Johns Hopkins Centro SOL.

Prior to pursuing a PhD, Dr. Hawks Cuellar held a joint appointment as an Associate Specialist at the UC Berkeley Bixby Center for Population, Health, and Sustainability and Program Research Analyst, for the David and Lucile Packard Foundation’s Population and Reproductive Health Program.

As a 2008 Fulbright scholar, Dr. Hawks Cuellar focused on the determinants of cervical cancer mortality in Nicaragua. In 2010 was awarded a Hispanic-Serving Health Profession Schools Fellowship at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Hawks Cuellar is a 2004 Gates Millennium Scholar.

In addition to her PhD and Master of Science in Public Health from Johns Hopkins, Michelle holds a B.S. in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention from the University of Southern California (USC

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