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HPHR Fellow Ryan Sutherland

By Ryan Sutherland

Ryan Sutherland

Ryan Sutherland completed a Master of Public Health degree at the Yale School of Public Health in the Social and Behavioral Science Department with a concentration in Global Health. His research focuses on the intersection of international development and public health, centering on homelessness, substance use, refugee rights, and maternal and child health. Ryan was a recipient of the 2020 Dean’s Prize at the Yale School of Public Health for Outstanding MPH Thesis titled “Tobacco Use, Knowledge of Tobacco Risks, and Perception of Smoking Behaviors Among Urban and Rural Youth in Indonesia” and of the Horstmann Merit Scholarship for academic excellence and potential in public health. Ryan has completed internships with the United Nations Development Programme and the U.S. Agency for International Development in Jakarta, Indonesia. He was a Fulbright Scholar in Madrid, Spain.


Ryan is currently pursuing an MPhil in Development Studies at the University of Cambridge as a Rotary Foundation Global Grant recipient. At Cambridge, he has been selected as the Health Project Director for the Cambridge Development Initiative, an NGO based at the University of Cambridge that works to strengthen ties to Tanzanian health care professionals, NGOs, media and other stakeholders interested in effective health interventions. Previously, he served as the American Public Health Association—Student Assembly’s (APHA-SA) Development Co-Chair and was a semi-finalist for the APHA-SA’s Trong D. Nguyen Memorial Award established to recognize significant leadership contributions of students in public health. Ryan presently works as a Study Coordinator at the Yale School of Medicine and for Partners in Health in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to control the spread of COVID-19.


Ryan is currently enrolled in the Executive Program in Social Impact Strategy at the University of Pennsylvania and is a Program Coordinator for the 2021 Sherwin B. Nuland Summer Institute in Bioethics at the Yale Center for Interdisciplinary Bioethics.

Blogs by Ryan Sutherland

As the world’s fourth most populated country with a population that exceeds 270 million, Indonesia has reported over 2.7 million COVID-19 infections. Recent surges have exposed the vulnerability of the Indonesian healthcare system, overwhelming overburdened medical facilities. Will Indonesia become the next global epicenter for the virus, replacing India and Brazil?

"We are not afraid to die because we have already lost our future. We are sick physically and mentally." The denial of basic rights, the uncertainty of resettlement to third countries, strict deterrence policies, and the global COVID-19 pandemic have further exacerbated pre-existing mental-health conditions among refugees.

Defined by the American Psychological Association as a “form of aggressive behavior in which someone intentionally and repeatedly causes another person injury or discomfort,” bullying is a widespread social problem and represents an overlooked area of public health. Social media and access to internet-connecting devices undoubtedly expose children to cyberbullying and cyber harm. What are steps we can take to address this global public health problem?

"...we need to decriminalize sex work and get people away from the idea that by arresting people it’s going to solve the problem. It’s not, ever. It never has and never will."

"...harm reduction is talking to people, finding out their needs, treating them with respect and dignity and fighting like hell for them against whoever’s trying to bring them down."

"...Our members do not feel safe talking to the police if they were raped, and with good reason. A couple of them told us that when they approached a police officer, their usual response was, 'Well what do you expect? Look who you are, look where you are. And besides, prostitutes can’t get raped.'"

Since the 1980s, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has maintained restrictive policies preventing men who have sex with men (MSM) from donating blood. Are these restrictions discriminatory or based on science?

The Biden administration overturned a Trump-era policy to align the definition of “sex” in Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act to again include sexual orientation and gender identity in addition to biological sex. How does this protect transgender health?

Do patent waivers for COVID-19 vaccines really increase production and distribution?

How has the pandemic impacted undocumented immigrants?

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