The National Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health

About NCEMCH's Director

Rochelle Mayer, Ed.D.


Rochelle MayerRochelle Mayer, Ed.D., has led NCEMCH for 29 of its 35 years, stewarding its transformation from a genetics clearinghouse to an enduring national resource that has been integral in launching key initiatives funded by the U.S. Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB), including the National Action Partnership to Promote Safe Sleep, the Maternal and Child Health Library, the National SUID/SIDS Resource Center, Children’s Safety Network, the National Center for Health and Safety in Child Care, the Bright Futures Program, the Healthy Start National Resource Center, and the Title V Information System.

Among her publications are the Advancing Online Public Health Training Systems: Challenges and Opportunities (2016, co-author), Beginning Together: A Diary of Discovery for You and Your Baby and, with Lawrence Kohlberg, “Development As the Aim of Education,” published in the Harvard Education Review (HER) and recently selected as one of 12 articles for inclusion in the HER Classics Series. She holds a doctorate in education from Harvard University.

In acknowledgment of her achievements in supporting state Title V Programs with knowledge gained from MCHB-funded Special Projects of Regional and National Significance, Dr. Mayer received the Administrator’s Special Citation, HRSA’s highest honor to a non-government employee, “for building an outstanding information resource to expand knowledge in the MCH community throughout the nation.”

The role that Dr. Mayer has played in assisting MCHB program efforts cannot be better expressed than in their own words. Dr. Vince Hutchins, Director of MCHB (1977-1992), said: “We in the Bureau have come to rely on Rochelle Mayer – her calm, her competence and her creativity – to provide the leadership for the many and varied activities that NCECMH has provided to complement our program… With vision and a keen perception of the changing needs of the Bureau, Rochelle has recruited an outstanding staff…into whose hands the Bureau has placed important work that has been performed outstandingly.” Dr. David Heppel, Director, Division of Child, Adolescent and Family Health (1983-2013) stated that “she is an outstanding example of applying the academic orientation of the university to the needs of community and State-based health care programs. Under Dr. Mayer’s leadership [NCEMCH has] evolved into an absolutely essential component of the nation’s MCH program.”

The hallmark of Dr. Mayer's leadership has been her dedication to advancing MCH through partnership, working closely with MCHB and other organizations

As Principal Investigator, she has directed over $80 million in university-based research and education grants relating to policy formulation and program development in the delivery of health services. She has served as editor of Educating Children for Democracy, the professional journal of the International Step by Step Association, and as program evaluator for the Center for Intercultural Education and Development. She was co-director of the Commonwealth Fund Project on Pediatric Care Linkages for Developmental Services (2004–2006).

Prior to coming to Georgetown University, Dr. Mayer served as education director of the Infant Health and Development Program at Harvard University and Children’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts and as research psychologist at Bank Street College of Education.