About ICF

Nicola Dawkins-Lyn

Vice President, Public Health
Nicola is a public health expert with more than 25 years of experience helping clients prevent chronic diseases and promote community health.

Nicola provides corporate and technical oversight for projects to ensure excellent standards for quality, client satisfaction, and resource management. She has experience in the prevention of non-infectious diseases and promoting community health, focusing on the connection between health and surrounding environmental and social determinants. Nicola has developed theories of change, established monitoring and evaluation designs to assess policies and programs, designed innovative approaches to address challenges, and provided training and technical assistance to support initiatives. Her work also involves translating evidence to practice and using practice-based evidence to inform further programming.

Nicola applies her skills in initiative design to many health-related initiatives. Her wide-ranging public health content expertise includes noninfectious disease prevention and management, health equity advancement, and community health promotion. She is also skilled in evaluability assessment, particularly the Systematic Screening and Assessment method, and has delivered several presentations and training exercises, prepared manuscripts, and co-edited a journal issue on the method that received the American Evaluation Association’s 2011 Outstanding Publication Award.

"Periods of turbulence also create open windows for improvement. Right now we have the chance to build public health back better, improving policies and systems to assure equitable opportunity for all to live their healthiest life."
  • MBA, Emory University Goizueta Business School
  • Ph.D., Sociology, Emory University
  • M.P.H., Public Health, Behavioral Science and Health Education, Emory University
  • B.A., Sociology and Communication, Wake Forest University
  • Ottley, P., Dawkins-Lyn, N., Harris, C., Dooyema, C., Jernigan, J., Kauh, T., Kettel Khan, L., et al. (2018). Childhood obesity declines project: An exploratory study of strategies identified in communities reporting declines. Childhood Obesity, 14(S1), S12–S21.
  • Kauh, T., Dawkins-Lyn, N., Dooyema, C., Harris, C., Jernigan, J., Kettel Khan, L., et al. (2018). Childhood obesity declines project: An effort of the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research to explore progress in four communities. Childhood Obesity, 14(S1), S1–S4.
  • Wethington, H., Hall, M. K., Dawkins-Lyn, N., Leviton, L.C., & Kettel Khan, L. (2012). Early assessment of programs and policies to prevent childhood obesity: Initiatives in after-school and child-care settings. Health Behavior and Public Health, 2(2), 27–34.
  • Dawkins-Lyn, N., Wethington, H., Kettel Khan, L., Grunbaum, J., Robin, L., Cotton, D., et al. (2010). Applying the systematic screening and assessment method to childhood obesity prevention. New Directions for Evaluation, 125, 33–49.
  • Kettel Khan, L., Dawkins-Lyn, N., & Leviton, L. (2010). Results and insights from the systematic screening and assessment method. New Directions for Evaluation, 125.
  • Leviton, L., Kettel Khan, L., Rog, D., Dawkins-Lyn, N., & Cotton, D. (2010). Applications of exploratory evaluation to public health programs and practice. Annual Review of Public Health, 31.


How was your experience? CX in government.
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A global health expert on U.S. public health in an interconnected world
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Looking to state leaders as the drivers of public health
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The local perspective on America’s public health landscape
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Why human-centered design is key to successful organizational transformation
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Obesity prevention and control in worksite settings
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