About me

I help people navigate health and technology. I currently serve as the Chief Technology Officer of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This Washington Post article captures the essence of my role at HHS. And in this speech I explain how we create space for innovation at a federal agency.

From September 2014 – May 2015 I was the Entrepreneur in Residence at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation after 14 years at the Pew Research Center, where I directed the health and technology portfolio.

My work is enriched by the people I affectionately call the health geek tribe. I can’t imagine doing the work I do without the help of my community. So thanks for being here!

Here’s where I publish and hang out online:





If you would like to invite me to speak at your event, please send me an email (susannah.fox at HHS.gov is my current one).

If you are looking for a more formal bio and headshot, here’s my LinkedIn profile.

Please note: I’m happy to hear from people who have questions, ideas, stories, business plans, etc., but I rarely have time to engage in these wonderful “over the transom” inquiries. When I do, I post my thoughts as a public Q&A. Check out those posts — and please join in the conversation!

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All the posts and pages on this site are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

21 thoughts on “About me

  1. I was at a cocktail party, struggling to describe in just a few sentences what I do for a living, when my friend Paul Tarini broke in and said, “You’re an internet geologist. You study the rocks, you don’t judge them.” Exactly. I study patterns in the online landscape and provide data and insights so people can make better decisions.


    I didn’t know Paul Tarini was the source of that phrase – thanks for sharing it!

    And, may I say, mazel tov.

    • Thanks, Dave! Yep, the site is live in beta (still need to add a few features) and one thing I’m very happy to share is the origin of the phrase I now use daily, thanks to Paul.

  2. Hey, how fabulous that I bumped into Ted Eytan’s tweet about your new blog — yay! Love the backstory for the “internet geologist” title. I am always struggling to explain to people concisely what I do — perhaps I should ask Paul Tarini to give me a moniker :)

    • You should ask him! Or Ted Eytan, who coined “community colleague.” Sometimes friends see us more clearly than we see ourselves.

  3. I was wondering how to explain all of what you do to the readers of my today’s post on rare diseases (Social media: best ally of patients with rare disease) as I quote you and Peer-to-Peer Health. Then, I decided to put a link to this post. Thank you Susannah for all the fine data you produce!

  4. I really like what you write and love the research work you have done with Pew Research, specially with Health 2.0. Thanks for studying the health and technology trends and reporting them. As a master’s graduate in health communication, your work has really motivated me, and helped me in my various projects during my masters program.

    • Thank you so much! That means a lot to me. Please jump in to any of the comment threads you see — the conversation is never over.

  5. Susannah-

    I’ve been binge reading your articles on peer-to-peer as the future of health tech. How exactly do you anticipate this playing out and why do you think WebMD (a dial-up generation company) is still so dominant?

  6. Hi Susannah —

    Nice work on your site! A suggestion for something to add… you’ve been the driving force behind so many great reports out of Pew. People like me reference them all the time. But sometimes it’s hard to find exactly what we need. Maybe you could do your own roundup or Cliff’s Notes version of key reports you wrote to help data seekers find the right report quickly. At minimum I’d suggest linking back to Pew’s site at the page you think is best for those of us who are specifically seeking “Susannah’s reports”.

    Thanks and cheers,

  7. Congratulations! Might I ask you please to consider joining the New England Regional Genetics Group as keynote speaker December 3-4 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire? I am happy to supply additional information. We are a professional organization of geneticists, genetic counselors, public health officials and consumers. We will be looking at evolving toward Precision Medicine.

  8. Greetings, I saw you speak at JP Morgan and wanted to reach out.

    We have built a program at South by SouthWest in Austin around pediatric innovation. The top 4 pediatric hospitals (Boston, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, and Texas) have set aside competitive pressures and are working together to create a showcase for the best emerging pediatric technologies from everywhere. This year we will have Steve Case as our emcee and committed judges like Charlotte, the Chief Investment Officer for the Gates Foundation VC arm.

    If you have interest and availability, we would love to invite you to be a judge for the event. 150 or so companies apply. 10 finalists will emerge and a winner will be awarded a prize and potential pilots on our campuses. The date is March 14th (Monday).

    If this is of interest, we would welcome your involvement.

    • My apologies for the slow reply — just found this in my spam filter. Thanks for the invite, which I know you also sent to my email address (susannah.fox at hhs.gov in case anyone else needs it). Sorry I couldn’t make the trip! It looks like the event was a success.

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