The Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) today announced that Susan Monarez, Ph.D., has been selected as the agency's deputy director. In this role, Dr. Monarez will assist ARPA-H director Renee Wegrzyn, Ph.D., in the agency's development of high-impact health and medical science and technology. Previously, Monarez led strategy, analysis, and risk management for ARPA-H and served as the agency’s acting deputy director during part of 2022.
“Susan is a globally recognized leader in health innovation with more than 20 years of experience working with high-level research organizations, including government, industry, and academia," said Dr. Wegrzyn. “Importantly, Susan exemplifies the culture that we want to create and amplify at ARPA-H, which will embrace scientific risk-taking to make leaps forward in accelerating better health outcomes for everyone.”
Prior to ARPA-H, Monarez was the founding director of the Center for Innovation at the Health Resources and Services Administration, the largest funder of safety-net health programs in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Monarez also served at the White House as the assistant director for National Health Security and International Affairs in the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and as the director of Medical Preparedness Policy on the National Security Council. In both White House roles, she led multiple efforts to enhance the nation's biomedical innovation capabilities. Monarez has also led the development of several Presidential-level national strategies, action plans, and policy directives related to domestic and global health.
Monarez served in leadership positions at the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency within the Department of Homeland Security, as well as HHS’s Biomedical Advanced Research Projects Authority. In addition to leadership roles within the federal government, Monarez has served on advisory panels at the National Academies of Science, National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity, and Federal Experts Science Advisory Panel, among others. Monarez was also a U.S. representative on several international cooperative initiatives with the European Union, Canada, France, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom in bilateral and multilateral engagements.
Monarez holds a Bachelor of Science and doctorate degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in, respectively, microbiology and microbiology and immunology. After completing her studies, she earned fellowships with the American Association for the Advancement of Science in addition to the Stanford University School of Medicine.