Cynthia Gomez, PhD

Dr. Cynthia A. Gómez was recently conferred as Professor Emerita in Health Education, and leaves her legacy as founding director of the Health Equity Institute at San Francisco State University.

She previously served as co-director of the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies at the University of California at San Francisco and has been a leading scientist in HIV prevention research for over 25 years. Her work has focused primarily on gender, culture and sexual health, on the development of prevention interventions, and on the translation of science to community practice. Dr. Gómez has served as faculty and student mentor to individuals in multiple institutions across the U.S., particularly among underrepresented minorities.

Dr. Gómez, a native of California and of Mexican descent, grew-up in Ecuador and Puerto Rico. She earned a master's degree in Counseling and Consulting Psychology from Harvard University and a PhD in Clinical Psychology from Boston University. Prior to her work in HIV, Dr. Gómez spent 12 years working in community health settings, including five years as director of a child and family mental health center in Boston.

Dr. Gómez has been a health policy advisor for over 20 years. She was an appointed member to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS under both WJ Clinton and GW Bush administrations. In 2007 she was appointed by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to the first California Public Health Advisory Council and in 2013 was appointed to the first CA Office of Health Equity Advisory Committee. Over the years she has served on national advisory committees including the Centers for Disease Control's HIV and STD Advisory Council; Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's Advisory Committee on Women's Services; and the Institute of Medicine's Committees on Prisoners and Research, and on Lesbian Health. She has also served on several national boards including Public Responsibility in Medicine & Research, the Guttmacher Institute, and was elected to the American Psychological Association’s Board of Professional Affairs. Most recently she was selected to serve as a member of the U.S. Secretary of Health’s Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives for 2030, is a member of the board of directors of ETR Associates, and is the chair of the board of trustees for Planned Parenthood, Northern California.