O'NEILL INSTITUTE PROFILES: MEET SEAN BLAND
In this edition, meet Sean Bland, an Associate at O’Neill. Sean is a Georgetown Law alumnus who joined the O’Neill Institute in 2015.
When did you first realize that a career at the intersection of public health and policy was a good fit for you?
In college, I never thought I would do policy work. While others were studying politics and interning on the Capitol Hill, I was spending time studying German language and history and doing research in psychology. The psychology background ultimately led me to work at the Fenway Institute, an interdisciplinary center for research, training, education and policy development focusing on HIV and LGBT health issues. I took a research associate position where I helped to coordinate research projects focused on social and behavioral factors affecting HIV transmission and prevention among gay and bisexual men and transgender individuals. Through this work, I started to realize that a career at the intersection of pubic health and policy would be an effective way to improve HIV outcomes.
What was your path to the O'Neill Institute?
I attended Georgetown Law because I intended to pursue a career in health law and policy. During law school, I worked as a research assistant at the O’Neill Institute, and I worked at a law firm upon graduation. While working in private practice, I was introduced to Jeffrey Crowley, the Project Director of the O’Neill Institute’s National HIV/AIDS Initiative, who recruited me back to O’Neill.
Does your past professional experience bring a unique perspective or advantage to your work at the O’Neill Institute?
I have unique background in that I have worked both as a public health researcher and as a lawyer. Prior to commencing my career in law, I conducted community-based HIV research. I developed qualitative and quantitative research skills, and I worked in the HIV community and gained a broad understanding of HIV prevention and treatment. I have also practiced law and have ability to conduct legal and policy analysis.
Sean's Full Q&A