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Susan K. Laird, DNP, MSN, RN

Project Director
Office of Communication Science

Communications Director
Public Health Grand Rounds
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Susan K. Laird, DNP, MSN, RN, is a health communication specialist and project director in the Office of Communication Science and the communications director for CDC’s Public Health Grand Rounds. She has served in a variety of roles in the 14 years she has been at CDC. Most recently, she served as Principal Deputy in the Joint Information Center (JIC) for the COVID-19 Response. She is a former marketing and advertising executive with extensive experience in all media with all types of businesses, including health care.

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An award-winning broadcast writer and producer, Dr. Laird made a 180-degree career change, earning her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Georgia State University (GSU) in 1997. She started work in Atlanta’s Grady Health System’s ER, a Level I Trauma Center, and became certified in critical care, trauma, disaster management, and emergency response while pursuing her master’s degree from GSU in adult health nursing, which she completed in 2001. In 2020, she completed her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree, with a project focus on “Preparing Nurses for Role in End-of-Life Decision-Making.”

In her clinical career, Dr. Laird advanced from bedside through leadership roles in emergency departments, from nurse manager in the Emory Healthcare system to Advanced Practice Registered Nurse for Emergency Services at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore. She taught in nurse residency programs and lectured as faculty at Emory and Georgia State Schools of Nursing, where she is currently part-time faculty.

Dr. Laird is passionate about community service. She has volunteered as a rape crisis counselor at Grady, as a board member for both Men Stopping Violence and the Atlanta Wind Symphony, and as a Girl Scout leader. As part of a volunteer organization dedicated to healthcare reform in the former Soviet Union, she taught emergency nursing in the Gudushauri National Medical Center and the M. Iashvili Children’s Center Hospital. Laird is also a graduate of Leadership DeKalb Class of 2012. She serves on the advisory board for GSU’s Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing and is a panel member of the DeKalb County Citizen Review Panel for the Juvenile Court System. {/sliders}