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Gael O’Sullivan

Principal Associate, International Health Division

Gael O’Sullivan Gael O’Sullivan
Gael O’Sullivan leads the behavior change communication practice for Abt’s International Health Division.  She has over 25 years of experience in applying health communication and social and commercial marketing skills to projects in family planning, reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, chronic disease prevention, and child health in the United States and worldwide.  Since joining Abt in 2005, Ms. O’Sullivan has led large, multi-year USAID health communication projects and research activities with decentralized teams across three continents. 
Currently Ms. O’Sullivan is lead technical advisor to Abt’s $30 million USAID-funded cooperative agreement to increase demand for family planning and reproductive health services in Jordan.  She led the development of national communication strategies to prevent and mitigate HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe, Benin and Bhutan, and contributed to the national communication strategy on safe drinking water, hygiene and sanitation in Pakistan.  She has field experience in over 25 countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, the Caribbean, and the former Soviet Union (Russia, Armenia and Georgia). 
Earlier in her career, Ms. O’Sullivan designed and managed results-driven behavior change communication efforts with Washington, DC-based firms for multiple USAID and World Bank funded programs.  She designed the first-ever national HIV/AIDS prevention strategy for the Royal Government of Bhutan and oversaw the program implementation. 
Ms. O’Sullivan holds an MBA from George Washington University and a Bachelor’s of Science from Georgetown University, and she speaks fluent French.
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  • Social and Behavior Change Communication/Social Marketing
  • Family Planning
  • Reproductive Health
  • Children’s Health
  • International Health
  • Tobacco
  • Public-Private Partnerships
  • French (fluent)

Key Projects

  • Jordan Communication, Advocacy and Policy (J-CAP) Activity (USAID)
  • Strengthening Health Outcomes through the Private Sector (SHOPS), (USAID)
  • Private Sector Partnerships:  PSP -One  (USAID)
  • Private Sector Partnerships: Jordan (USAID)
  • Population Communication Services (PCS) IV, (USAID)


  • Member, International Social Marketing Association Board of Directors (2010 – present) And Chair of the Communication Committee
  • Member, Hope for Children-US Board of Directors (2012-present)

Selected Publications

  • The Role of Health Systems and Policy in Producing Behavior and Social Change to Enhance Child Survival and Development in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: An Examination of the Evidence.  Luis F. Vélez, Mary Sanitato, Donna Barry, Martin Alilio, Franklin Apfel, Gloria Coe, Amparo Garcia, Michelle Kaufman, Jonathan Klein, Vesna Kutlesic, Lisa Meadowcroft, Wendy Nilsen, Gael O'Sullivan, Stefan Peterson, Daniel Raiten & Susan Vorkoper (2014) Journal of Health Communication: International Perspectives, 19:sup1, 89-121, DOI:10.1080/10810730.2014.939313
  • mBCC Field Guide: A Resource for Developing Mobile Behavior Change Communication Programs. Abt Associates, Inc. February 2012.
  • The Saathiya Trusted Partner Program in India: Meeting Young Couples’ Reproductive Health Needs. Social Marketing Quarterly, Vol. XIV No. 3, Fall 2008, pp. 109-120.
  • Moving Toward Sustainability: Transition Strategies for Social Marketing Programs. Bethesda, MD: Private Sector Partnerships-One Project, Abt Associates Inc. May 2007.
  • A Field Guide to Designing a Health Communication Strategy, Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health/Center for Communication Programs, March 2003.