Research Scientists

Gillian K SteelFisher

Principal Research Scientist

Health Policy and Management


Dr. Gillian SteelFisher is a Senior Research Scientist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She serves as the Deputy Director of the Harvard Opinion Research Program (HORP) and the Director of its Global Polling Unit.

For more than a decade, her work has focused on understanding public response to infectious disease outbreaks. This includes key behavioral responses driving policies, including adoption of vaccines and medical countermeasures like antivirals, as well as non-pharmaceutical strategies like hand-washing, mask-wearing and social distancing. She has worked on H1N1, Zika, Ebola, Polio, and COVID-19. With this focus, she also directs HORP's international projects, aiming to better understand the ways that the public is responding to major public health issues across the globe. Dr. SteelFisher's work has been instrumental in response and communications efforts for the CDC and UNICEF as well as state and local public health agencies across the United States.

Dr. SteelFisher teaches applied survey methodology at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. She received her Ph.D. in Health Policy from Harvard University and her Masters in health behavior and communication from Harvard School of Public Health. She is the former President of the New England Chapter of the American Association for Public Opinion Research.



Overcoming misinformation about vaccines

August 20, 2019 – With misinformation and mistrust about vaccines on the rise, the World Health Organization named vaccine hesitancy as one of 10 global health threats for 2019. At Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Gillian…

In Afghanistan, polio vaccination faces threats

Afghanistan is one of three nations in the world (along with Pakistan and Nigeria) where the polio virus continues to be endemic, in part due to inadequate vaccination rates. A new poll of parents and caregivers of young…