Elena Savoia

Senior Research Scientist

Department of Biostatistics

90 Smith Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02215


Elena Savoia, M.D., M.P.H., is the deputy director of the Emergency Preparedness, Research, Evaluation & Practice Program (EPREP) http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/preparedness and the director of the Community Safety Branch http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/community-safety . She is a physician specialized in preventive medicine, public health and quantitative methods; her area of expertise is in public health emergency preparedness. Her work has focused on understanding how to improve communication efforts directed to the public during large scale emergencies such as pandemic influenza, MERS, Ebola and weather related events and how to measure the level of preparedness of public health agencies and hospitals across a multitude of preparedness capabilities.  Dr. Savoia is also an international expert in community safety, specialized in applying evaluation methods to understand the effectiveness of community safety activities, including counter terrorism programs.

She joined the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in 2004. During the past 15 years, her research interests have focused on the application of measurement methods to assess public health and healthcare system preparedness levels. Dr. Savoia provided technical assistance to international, national, state and local agencies to identify training needs, assess capacity gaps, measure performance during tabletop and functional exercises and identify lessons learned in the response to disasters. Among recent activities, she has collaborated with the World Health Organization in the development of the International Guidelines for Emergency Risk Communication, collaborated with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control to develop a preparedness logic model and curriculum for government level officials, lead projects sponsored by CDC to create mobile applications for the engagement of community leaders in preparedness efforts, and directed projects for the Department of Justice and NATO to assess the impact of counter terrorism efforts. She has conducted studies at the population and system level interviewing and surveying the general public and collaborated with public officials during infectious disease outbreaks, chemical incidents and counter-terrorism initiatives.

Dr. Savoia’s portfolio of research activities includes projects sponsored by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), World Health Organization (WHO), U.S. Department of Justice, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), U.S. National Academy of Science (NAS) and the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC).


M.P.H. 2004 Harvard School of Public Health
M.D. 1999 Alma Mater Studiorum University of Bologna