About ICF

Cathy Lesesne, Ph.D.

Vice President, Public Health
Cathy is a public health expert with more than 20 years of experience directing U.S. federal programs and large research and evaluation projects.

Cathy leads sexual health projects and serves as the director for multiple adolescent and school health research, evaluation, and technical assistance contracts. Cathy works closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH). She also serves as the project director of the Demonstration Projects to Identify Effective School-Based or School-Linked Approaches to Preventing HIV, Other Sexually Transmitted Diseases, and Unintended Pregnancy Among Adolescents contract. Cathy also works with national advocacy and non-profit organizations in the field. She is an experienced community psychologist, well-versed in taking research to action by developing implementation supports such as evaluation capacity-building tools, adaptation guidance, and dissemination of evidence-based public health interventions.

Previously, Cathy worked for more than 10 years in federal service at the CDC. She started her career at CDC in child development and prevention of child behavioral and developmental disabilities. In her last appointment at CDC, she served as a senior scientist in adolescent sexual health, community-based research, translation and dissemination research, capacity-building training and technical assistance design, implementation, and evaluation. She has authored more than 40 peer-reviewed publications and often presents at national conferences.

  • Ph.D., Community Psychology, Georgia State University
  • M.A., Community Psychology, Georgia State University
  • M.P.H., Public Health Administration, University of South Carolina
  • B.A., Psychology, University of South Carolina Honors College
  • Rasberry CN, Sheremenko G, Lesesne CA, et al. (2020). Student-Reported School Safety Perceptions, Connectedness, and Absenteeism Following a Multiple-Fatality School Shooting — Broward County, Florida, February 14–21, 2018. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep, 69:231–235.
  • Steiner RJ, Sheremenko G, Lesesne CA, et al. (2019). Adolescent Connectedness and Adult Health Outcomes. Pediatrics. 144(1):e20183766.
  • Rasberry, CN, Condron, DS, Lesesne, CA, Adkins, SH, Sheremenko, G, & Kroupa, E. (2018). Associations Between sexual risk-related behaviors and school-based education on HIV and condom use for adolescent sexual minority males and their non-sexual-minority peers. LGBT Health, 5(1), 69–77.
  • Lesesne, CA, Lewis, K, Fisher, D, et al. (2016). Promoting science-based approaches to teen pregnancy prevention using Getting To Outcomes for Teen Pregnancy Prevention (PSBA-GTO). Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Lesesne, CA, Rasberry, CN, Kroupa, E, Topete, P, Carver, LH, Moore, W, Morris, E, & Robin, L. (2015). Communicating with school staff about sexual identity, health, and safety: An exploratory study of the experiences and preferences of Black and Latino teen young men who have sex with men. LGBT Health, 2(3), 258–264.
  • Lesesne, CA, Lewis, K, White, C, Green, D, Duffy, J, & Wandersman, A. (2008). Promoting science-based approaches to teen pregnancy prevention: Proactively engaging the three systems of the Interactive Systems Framework. American Journal of Community Psychology, 41, 379–392.