Barbara Riley

Executive Director, Propel Centre for Population Health Impact, University of Waterloo (Waterloo, ON)

Barb Riley is the Executive Director of the Propel Centre for Population Health Impact, a pan-Canadian enterprise, founded by the Canadian Cancer Society and the University of Waterloo, whose mandate is to accelerate and advance the science of population intervention and its application.

Her career focus emphasizes impact; linking science, policy and action to promote population health, previously through co-owning a research and consulting firm, and more recently through her appointments at the University of Waterloo.

Dr. Riley’s foundational research examined the dissemination and implementation of community-based heart health initiatives. She works as an engaged scholar with government and non-governmental organizations to evaluate complex public health interventions, examine scaling up processes, build systems approaches to knowledge mobilization, and conduct knowledge syntheses that include scientific and experiential evidence.

Dr. Riley provides strategic and scientific advice through presentations and service on several advisory boards, including the Scientific Advisory Committee for the International Obesity Task Force, the Population Health Intervention Research Initiative for Canada (PHIRIC) and the Ontario government’s Healthy Kids Panel (report released March 2013). She builds research capacity by leading a pan-Canadian CIHR-funded training program in population intervention for chronic disease prevention, providing leadership for a university-wide initiative to catalyze new, multidisciplinary collaborations for the prevention of chronic diseases and their underlying risks. Dr. Riley also served for seven years as faculty at the CDC/AHA ten-day seminar on cardiovascular disease epidemiology and prevention, with a focus on population intervention and linking evidence and policy.

Dr. Riley trained at McMaster University (PhD, Health Geography) and the University of Waterloo (M.Sc., Health Studies).

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