Mercyhurst University

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David J. Dausey, Ph.D.

Dean; Chair and Professor of Public Health,
Director: Institute for Public Health
(HC 310)
P: 814-824-2460

Education and Academic Interests:

David J. Dausey is a professor, researcher and epidemiologist who is a well known public health scholar. Dausey was one of the first researchers to develop and quantitatively test measures to assess the performance of US public health agencies. His research on disease surveillance in US public health agencies gained international attention and sparked an ongoing debate about what should be expected of public health agencies when responding to infectious disease outbreaks. Dausey has worked on the ground with senior health officials in more than 20 countries including Mexico, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Cambodia, Thailand, Lao PDR, China, Kenya, and Tanzania. His work has encompassed a full array of public health topics from behavioral health to bioterrorism. He is an internationally recognized leader on the use of exercises to evaluate public health preparedness. He has conducted exercises with more than 20 US health departments, all levels of the US Department of Veterans Affairs (local, regional and national) and in collaboration with the ministries of health in more than a dozen countries. He developed and conducted the world’s first multisectoral regional pandemic influenza tabletop exercise in collaboration with the ministries of health of 6 countries in Southeast Asia. He subsequently conducted regional tabletop exercises in the Middle East and in East Africa. Dausey and his colleague Melinda Moore were the first to coin the term "sub-regional disease surveillance networks" to describe the emerging trend of transnational disease surveillance cooperations. Dausey and Moore developed the first framework for evaluating the sustainability of such networks comprising of strategic and tactical sustainability-enabling factors that can be used to characterize networks and to orient planning for their sustainability into the future. The evaluation tools and methods Dausey has developed have been disseminated to public health agencies around the world and profiled by the US government on websites such as

Dausey has published extensively in the academic literature in some of the nation’s top-tier journals including the American Journal of Public Health, Health Affairs, the American Journal of Psychiatry and Psychiatric Services. His research has received more than 500 media mentions and has been featured by the nation's premiere media outlets including USA Today (front page), the Washington Post, US News and World Report, CNN, MSNBC and Westwood One Radio. His research has also been profiled in some of the nation's leading medical and public health publications including JAMA and The Nation's Health. Dausey has received millions of dollars in grants to fund his research from some of the nation’s top foundations including the Rockefeller Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation and from numerous government agencies and organizations including the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US Department of Veterans Affairs and the US Department of Health and Human Services. Dausey serves as a director or trustee on the board of a variety of organizations including the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, Hospital Council of Western Pennsylvania, Health Careers Futures, Techbridge World and the American College of Health Care Executives (concluded in 2011).

Prior to joining the Mercyhurst faculty in 2011, Dausey was a professor at Carnegie Mellon University and the Senior Director of Health Programs and Initiatives at the H. John Heinz III College where he oversaw all of the college's health assets including three health focused master degree programs, three health focused master degree concentrations, four undergraduate joint degree programs and an undergraduate minor. In this capacity he started the “healthcare@heinz” initiative and oversaw the accreditation of two academic programs. Dausey maintains an honorary faculty position at Carnegie Mellon as a Distinguished Service Professor. Dausey was also formerly a fulltime researcher at the RAND Corporation where he remains as an adjunct researcher working on projects related to global public health. After receiving his bachelor degree in psychology from Mercyhurst University, Dausey was trained in epidemiology and public health at Yale University by some of the world’s leading public health researchers including: Mark Schlesinger (dissertation chair), Robert Dubrow, Stanislav Kasl, Michael Braken, Sarah Horwitz (now at Stanford), and Theodore Holford. While at Yale, he served as a teaching fellow for several of the flagship courses of the program including the Principles of Epidemiology. Dausey was subsequently trained in higher education leadership and administration at Harvard University at the Harvard Kennedy School and the Graduate School of Education. He employs the case study method that he learned at Harvard in many of his classes.


Dausey graduated from Mercyhurst with the highest Latin honors (summa cum laude) where he received the social and behavioral sciences award for academic excellence during graduation. During his graduate studies at Yale, he was a recipient of the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award, which fully funded his graduate studies and provided an annual stipend for his research. Dausey’s research on pandemic influenza preparedness in Southeast Asia received a Gold Award in 2007 from the RAND Corporation. The President of RAND gives this award annually in recognition of exemplary research. Dausey also has been recognized for his role as a role model and mentor to students at Carnegie Mellon University where he received both the Alpha Theta Mentorship Award and the Panhellenic Intrafraternity Council Role Model Award in 2008. Students who want to recognize professors that have made a lasting impression on them and who provided them with mentorship and guidance outside of the classroom nominate professors annually for these awards. Dausey is an accomplished teacher and has developed pedagogical techniques that have been adopted by other professors. In recognition of his teaching, in 2010 he received Carnegie Mellon’s Marcia Wade Teaching Award given annually to one professor every year at graduation. Dausey was also acknowledged at Carnegie Mellon’s “Celebration of Education” in 2011 for exceptional teaching.


Dausey is an award winning teacher. His teaching philosophy is inspired by a quote from William Butler Yeats: "Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." He uses a variety of pedagogical techniques from case studies to simulations and exercises to get his students interested in the subject matter and to make them curious to explore it more. He teaches a wide range of courses at Mercyhurst including the Epidemiology, Biostatistics, Global Health and Health Care Policy. He has taught in a variety of locations in the US including New Haven, Pittsburgh, and Washington DC as well as international locations including Nairobi and Adelaide. He has extensive experience with teaching distance learning courses and using asynchronous learning techniques.

Current Projects:

Dausey is currently leading a large multi-year grant for the Rockefeller Foundation, which is examining the impact of sub-regional infectious disease surveillance networks. These networks are manifestations of the need to develop surveillance networks capable of spanning borders while maintaining relative managerial simplicity. This type of transnational cooperation can help to ensure a coordinated and expedited response to emerging public health threats. Dausey is also leading a project funded by the Benter Foundation designed to improve increase the lifecycle of donated wheelchairs for children in Mexico. He recently developed a collaboration with Teleton (the largest provider of rehabilitation health services in Latin America) and the University of Pittsburgh to understand the size and distribution of disease in Mexico. He also recently partnered with the Erie County Department of Health to develop the region’s first Academic Health Department.


  • B.A., Mercyhurst University
  • M.Phil., Yale University
  • Ph.D., Yale University

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By Jeremy Hewitt on July 18th, 2019, 12:30 PM
Mercyhurst University
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