Julia Spencer serves as the Associate Vice President, Global Vaccines Public Policy, Partnerships, and Government Affairs at Merck. In this role, she leads global public policy and advocacy to expand access to Merck vaccines, and develops and guides policy strategy and tactical implementation programs to achieve maximum population health impact and business growth.
Julia brings to this role more than 25 years of public health and health policy experience at the local, state, national, and international levels. Julia joined Merck in 2014 as the lead for International Vaccines Public Policy. In this role, she oversaw the formation of a dedicated, internationally-focused policy team charged with strengthening partnerships and developing new platforms for evidence-based policy engagement on critical vaccines issues.
Prior to joining Merck, Julia served for 15 years as a senior health official in the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Her tenure at HHS included service as the Science Policy Director within the HHS Secretary’s policy, planning, and evaluation office (ASPE). She was responsible for policy coordination, planning, and legislative development focused on the HHS science agencies – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Food & Drug Administration, National Institutes of Health, and Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response.
During the decade she worked in ASPE, she led the creation of two 5-year HHS Strategic Plans, the first HHS Global Health Strategy and the Health System Measurement Project; developed a new HHS-wide evaluation capacity development initiative; and served as a senior policy analyst in the US CDC Rwanda Office.
Prior to joining ASPE, she spent six years working on tobacco policy and substance abuse prevention efforts with HHS’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Julia holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree in public health, Master of Science in public health, and Bachelor’s degrees in psychology and health education.