Greetings, Public Health Communications Collaborative (PHCC) Community! 

It is an honor to be the Public Health Communications Collaborative’s first Director. To say this role is my dream job is an understatement. My connection to effective communications is personal. As the daughter of a crisis communications executive, I remember eavesdropping on my mom’s conversations to understand how communications can be used to inform, clarify, and build trust. Years later, I found a space for my communications passion to thrive: public health. I’m thrilled to bring my experience at the intersection of communications and health to the PHCC community. 

When I was getting ready to graduate from Syracuse University, I knew I wanted to experience what life in New York City had to offer, from the fast pace to cheap eats and the occasional celebrity sighting. After working in New York City’s advertising world for several years, where I combined my interest in storytelling and human connection with data, I moved to the Ad Council. I worked on over 15 campaigns during my tenure – including serving as the Brand Director to everyone’s favorite wildfire safety-loving bear, Smokey Bear!  

My love of public health blossomed when I got the opportunity to work on the Ad Council’s largest public service campaign in history: The COVID-19 Vaccine Education campaign, in partnership with the COVID Collaborative. At the time, people across the country understood the importance of the COVID-19 vaccines, but nearly half had questions that they needed answered before making the decision to be vaccinated for themselves and their loved ones. To address this urgent messaging opportunity, I helped manage the research, creative production, and distribution efforts focused on supporting the Black/African American community with clear, reliable information about the COVID-19 vaccine. Through this work, I saw firsthand the importance of culturally driven communication and authentic storytelling.  

On the heels of this campaign, I yearned to gain a more holistic understanding of public health beyond public health communications. With that, I enrolled in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Global Public Health as an MPH candidate with a concentration in Health Leadership. It was an incredible two years of growth, reflection, and appreciation for the lifesaving public health interventions that largely exist under the radar. And now, here I am as your director to continue the tremendous work PHCC has done to keep these public health interventions at the forefront! 

Since becoming your director in March, I have heard from countless individuals about the real value that PHCC has provided since its inception in 2020. It is evident that timely, science-based messaging and communications resources are needed not just for vaccines, but also for tackling emerging public health threats, misinformation, and large-scale public health challenges. 

I promise to continue delivering high-quality content to help you feel empowered in your role, while thinking through new ways to expand PHCC’s resources and learning opportunities. My vision is to design each feature of PHCC with your needs in mind, and I would love to speak to you directly, whether virtually or in-person. In fact, I will be attending the 2024 Grantmakers in Health Annual Conference on Health Philanthropy this June in Portland, Oregon. If you will be attending, please email me at beforehand – I would love to meet you. 

Outside of work, I like to spend my time running (I just completed my 13th marathon in Big Sur, California), oil painting, volunteering with the Junior League of Washington, D.C., and trying out new restaurants in the area with friends. 

Again, thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve you all as we embark on this next journey together for PHCC.  

Warm regards, 

Amanda Kwong, MPH

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