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Leon S. Robertson Faculty Development Chair in Injury Prevention

Bloomberg School of Public Health

Established in 1999 by Leon S. Robertson in response to a challenge gift from two anonymous donors

RobertsonLeonLEON S. ROBERTSON is an internationally recognized authority on injury epidemiology and prevention. He has held positions at Harvard Medical School, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the University of Minnesota, and Yale University. As president of Nanlee Research, Dr. Robertson has been a consultant on injury control to industry, labor, and government. An enthusiastic and influential teacher, he has often lectured to students at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. He has written nine books and more than 140 research publications dealing with injury prevention.

This chair was endowed to support the career development of an assistant or associate professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management or the Department of International Health whose principal focus relates to the field of injury prevention by providing substantial funding for a period of three years, after which a new recipient will be identified.


Held by Kathryn Falb

KATHRYN FALB, ScD, MHS ‘07, a recognized leader on preventing violence against women and children in humanitarian settings, was appointed the Leon S. Robertson Faculty Development Chair in Injury Prevention and assistant professor in the Health Systems Program of the Department of International Health and the Johns Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She brings extensive experience working directly alongside practitioners and has published over 70 peer-reviewed journal articles.

In her over 20 years of experience in intentional injury prevention, Dr. Falb has worked in a variety of capacities from direct service provision overseeing programs in refugee camps in Thailand to supporting military families in the United States. For the past decade, she has worked as an embedded researcher within the International Rescue Committee, a humanitarian aid organization operating in over forty crisis-affected countries and has used her skills as a social epidemiologist to employ quantitative and qualitative research approaches to collaboratively design, test, and scale interventions intended to prevent and respond to violence against women and children in humanitarian settings. For example, over the past five years, she has worked closely with colleagues in the Democratic Republic of Congo to qualitatively understand the shared drivers of multiple forms of violence such as intimate partner violence, child maltreatment, and abuse against other marginalized individuals in the home to advance conceptual frameworks and employ human-centered design approaches to develop and rigorously trial a new model of violence prevention, which led to not only acceptable and contextually grounded models of violence prevention, but also highly effective models.

Dr. Falb is also a strong evaluation methodologist with extensive experience coordinating evaluation studies in challenging settings including those affected by armed conflict, climate change, or disaster. She has worked across disciplines while serving as research director of the IRC to help advance creative, flexible, and responsive designs in challenging settings while also upholding ethics and rigor as north stars.

Dr. Falb holds a ScD from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, an MHS from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and a BS from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. She also completed postdoctoral training at the Yale School of Public Health.