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Dr. Michele Devlin

2016 Iowa Women's Hall of Fame Honoree: Dr. Michele Devlin

“I have had the deepest pleasure of knowing and working with my nominee, Dr. Michele Devlin, for the past 20 years in Iowa. It is important to remember that 80% of the poor in Iowa, the United States, and around the world are women and children. In Iowa, female minorities and immigrants are disproportionately represented among these poor families. Dr. Devlin has devoted her career and private life in Iowa to promoting the wellbeing of these at-risk minority women and their families. I am not exaggerating when I say that there is no other professional I know that has contributed more to addressing the health needs of these populations than Dr. Devlin…she is a true agent of change and advocate for the public health needs of women.”
-- Written by Dr. Mark Grey, nominator

photo of Michele Devlin

Dr. Michele Devlin is Professor of Global Public Health and Chair of the Division of Health Promotion and Education at the University of Northern Iowa. She is also Director of the Iowa Center on Health Disparities, a model organization established by the National Institutes of Health to improve health equity for underserved populations. Dr. Devlin completed her doctorate degree in international public health at the University of California at Los Angeles. Her primary areas of specialty include cross-cultural emergency and disaster response with refugee and minority populations, with a particular focus on women and children. She has published nearly 100 articles, reports, and books including “Health Matters: A Guide to Working with Diverse and Underserved Populations” and “Postville USA:  Surviving Diversity in Small-Town America.”   

In addition to her academic expertise, Dr. Devlin has more than 30 years of field experience working with public safety, law enforcement, public health agencies, non-profits, and disaster relief organizations around the world that serve women and at-risk populations in multicultural communities. Dr. Devlin is the Cultural Awareness Trainer for the Iowa Department of Public Safety and the Iowa Law Enforcement Academies. She is an International Disaster Relief team member with the American Red Cross, and has served in Haiti and the Philippines. She has led and/or participated in multiple medical missions around the world in Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Dr. Devlin is a licensed Emergency Medical Responder, and member of the Star One Search and Rescue Team in Iowa; the Iowa Disaster Medical Assistance Team; Disaster Mortuary Operational Team; multiple FEMA Community Emergency Response Teams; and the Medical Reserve Corps. She has provided training and technical assistance on human rights topics and cultural terrain issues to thousands of law enforcement, public safety, search and rescue, disaster response, public health, and emergency management professionals at the federal, state, and local level. Dr. Devlin is the recipient of the One Iowa Award, Richard Remington Award, the Iowa Civil Rights Award, and other local, state, and national honors for outstanding teaching, scholarship, and service. She has extensive travel experience in over 50 nations around the world, and also served with the U.S. Army Corps of Civilians in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom.