Meg O’Brien, PhD

Posted in Affiliates

Dr. Meg O’Brien is an infectious disease epidemiologist who has spent more than 20 years working with health ministries and health care providers to expand access to affordable, high-quality treatment for HIV and cancer.

As Vice President for Global Cancer Treatment at the American Cancer Society (ACS), O’Brien has established innovative partnerships to get treatment to more patients around the world through Allied Against Cancer, an alliance of organizations working together to improve access to cancer care in low and middle-income countries, with a focus on Sub-Saharan Africa. These have included partnering with the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) to reshape the global market for cancer treatment by establishing market access agreements with leading global suppliers that have reduced the cost of the most common cancer treatments by more than half, and increased availability of high-quality products in African markets. A collaboration with over 100 cancer experts in African cancer centers and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) developed the NCCN Harmonized GuidelinesTM for Sub-Saharan Africa, a package of more than 45 cancer treatment guidelines adapted for use in the region to standardize and improve treatment. Together with IBM, the American Cancer Society is developing digital tools to deliver treatment guidance directly to oncologists, strengthen safe handling and administration of chemotherapy, and improve procurement planning.

Prior to her role with the American Cancer Society, O’Brien worked on the scale-up of HIV treatment programs as the Research Director of the Consortium for Strategic HIV Operations Research at the Clinton Health Access Initiative and worked for three years in HIV treatment clinics in Tanzania for the Harvard School of Public Health during the initial scale-up of the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Earlier in her career, she worked in the United States at a public HIV clinic in New Orleans, Louisiana, and worked on influenza and malaria vaccine development for Statistics Collaborative, a biostatistical consulting firm in Washington, DC.

Dr. O’Brien holds a Ph.D. in infectious disease epidemiology from the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and a postdoctoral degree from the Harvard School of Public Health. She also holds a master’s degree in International Health from the George Washington School of Public Health and Health Services (now the Milken Institute School of Public Health) and a bachelor’s degree in Biology and certificate in African Studies from Georgetown University.