Photo of center director Amanda YarnellAmanda Yarnell

Senior Director, Center for Health Communication

Amanda (she/her) joined Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in 2022 as Senior Director for its Center for Health Communication, where she is preparing public health leaders to credibly communicate health information in an increasingly fragmented world. In that work she leverages two decades of experience in science and health journalism, media product development, and audience engagement. 

Prior to joining Harvard Chan, Amanda worked as a science journalist and newsroom leader at Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), an award-winning nonprofit science news outlet published by the American Chemical Society. Under Amanda’s leadership C&EN grew from a print magazine to a vibrant multichannel news operation used by more than 8 million people a year.  

Amanda also serves on the advisory board of Drug Hunter, a platform that empowers, educates, and connects scientists who work in drug discovery. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry from Johns Hopkins University and a Masters of Science in Chemistry from MIT.

Email Amanda at | Follow her on Twitter | Connect with her on LinkedIn


Photo of center program assistant Connor Dowd

Connor Dowd

Program assistant, Center for Health Communication

Connor (he/him) is currently a senior studying Applied Mathematics and Biology at Harvard College where he writes for the Harvard Crimson and mentors local students at the Harvard Ed Portal. Originally from the Boston area, he hopes to pursue a career in healthcare after graduating. He is very excited to work with the Center for Health Communication this year!


Meng Meng Xu

Photo of Meng Meng XuProgram assistant, Center for Health Communication

Meng Meng Xu (she/her) is the Clinical Director of Eye Services at the South Boston Community Health Center and a faculty member at the New England College of Optometry. She has 10 years of experience delivering eye care to underserved communities and designing international educational programs in eye care.  She also mentors international students on communication skills and cultural competency.  She is pursuing a Masters in Public Health at HSPH part-time in Health Management.  She has in interest in cross-cultural communication and public health literacy.