About ICF

Colleen Murray

Director, Research Science
Colleen is a behavioral health and research science expert with 20 years of experience conducting research and evaluation projects to improve health outcomes among women, youth, and communities.

Colleen is a skilled behavioral scientist and program evaluator with a diverse background in sexual and reproductive health, curriculum and intervention development, program evaluation, and mixed-method study design. She provides leadership for large-scale, multi-site evaluations for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other federal agencies. Colleen is also a subject matter expert in adolescent and school health and has worked with community partners and state and national organizations to address the needs of vulnerable populations. She brings a health-equity and research-to-practice perspective to her work.

As a former senior science officer at Power to Decide, associate director of research projects at Emory University, and one of our top thought leaders, Colleen provides strategic management and technical oversight in the development of comprehensive evaluation plans, data collection tools, education and communication materials, and performance measures. She provides scientific direction and leadership on complex health issues, including prevention strategies for COVID-19, contraceptive decision-making and family planning, HPV vaccination, and school-based youth support. She also helped implement multiple randomized controlled trials to increase protective behaviors and reduce pregnancy/STD incidence among adolescent females.

Colleen led or co-authored more than 75 scientific presentations and peer-reviewed publications and has presented work here and abroad. She earned a master’s of public health in behavioral and community health sciences from the University of Pittsburgh, and a doctorate in public health in community health sciences from Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Colleen completed her post-doctoral training through a National Institutes of Health-funded research and science teaching fellowship at Emory University.

  • Post Doctorate, Emory University
  • Dr.P.H., Community Health Sciences, Tulane University
  • M.P.H., Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, University of Pittsburgh
  • B.S., Biological Sciences, University of Pittsburgh
  • “Increases in Student Knowledge and Protective Behaviors Following Enhanced Supports for Sexual Health Education in a Large, Urban School District,” Journal of Adolescent Health, 2022.
  • “Teen Pregnancy and Parenting, Reaching Teens: Strength-Based Communication Strategies to Build Resilience and Support Healthy Adolescent Development," 2020.
  • “The Influence of Health Education Teacher Characteristics on Student’s Health-Related Knowledge Gains,” Journal of School Health, 2019.
  • “Socioecological Risk Factors Associated With Teen Pregnancy or Birth for Young Men: A Scoping Review,” Journal of Adolescence, 2019.
  • “GYT Goes to High School: Adapted STD Prevention Campaign and Associated Student Use of Clinic STD Testing Services,” Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 2019.
  • “Overcoming Barriers to HPV Vaccination: A Randomized Clinical Trial of a Culturally-Tailored, Media Intervention Among African American Girls,” Human Vaccines and Immunotherapeutics, 2015.