Ann Downer, EdD, has worked as a public health professional in domestic and international settings for 40 years and was the founding Executive Director of the International Training and Education Center for Health (I-TECH) in the University of Washington’s Department of Global Health. Dr. Downer holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in Education and a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership.
She began her career as an educator with Planned Parenthood International and later worked as a trainer, curriculum specialist, and manager in public and private schools, clinics and hospitals, non-profits/NGOs, health departments, and national Ministries of Health and Education around the world. In the mid-80s, Dr. Downer was an early recruit in the domestic fight against HIV/AIDS; during those years, she and her team supported development of behavioral research protocols and produced some of the first AIDS prevention campaigns in Washington State. Many of those mass media campaigns, curriculum products, and behavioral interventions are still in use today.
Dr. Downer left the health department in 1989 for an appointment on the faculty of the UW Department of Health Services, and she was among the first faculty members invited to join the UW Department of Global Health when it was established in 2007. In addition to founding I-TECH, Dr. Downer has also taught courses on mass media in health, educational theory, and health promotion planning over the years. More recently, she has taught large online and classroom-based graduate courses on global health management and leadership skills. Dr. Downer received the UW’s highest honor for Distinguished Contributions to Lifelong Learning in 2015. In 2020, Dr. Downer became a professor emeritus in the Department of Global Health.