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School of Public Health
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Ann E. Downer

faculty photo
"Education is freedom."
                      -- Andre Gide, Journal.

I believe in the power of education to change the world, and I consider teaching and learning to be acts of personal and social transformation. I enjoy working with public health professionals who have returned to university to seek new ways of solving old problems.

Adjunct Professor, Health Services
Professor, Global Health (primary appt.)


EdD   Seattle University, 1996   (Educational Leadership)
MS   University of Washington, 1984   (Health Education)
BA   Western Washington University, 1979   (Education)

Contact Info

web site:

University of Washington
908 Jefferson Street, 12th Floor
Seattle, WA 98104

campus box:   359932
voice:   206-685-6841
fax:   206-221-4945


Ann Downer has worked as a public health professional in domestic and international settings for nearly 40 years. She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in Education and a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership.

Dr. Downer began her public health career as an educator with Planned Parenthood International and later worked as a trainer, curriculum specialist, and manager in public and private schools, clinics and hospitals, non-profits/NGOs, health departments, and national Ministries of Health and Education around the world. She was an early recruit in the domestic fight against HIV/AIDS in the US, working on an innovative pilot project in Seattle, USA, starting in the mid-1980s. During those years, Ann and her team supported development of behavioral research protocols and produced some of the first AIDS prevention campaigns in the State of Washington. Many of those mass media campaigns, curriculum products, and behavioral interventions are still in use today.

Dr. Downer left the health department in 1989 for an appointment on the faculty of the University of Washington (UW), Department of Health Services. She was among the first faculty members invited to join the newly formed UW Department of Global Health when it was established in 2007 with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Ann has founded two Centers during her long career in academics, including I-TECH, the International Training and Education Center for Health. I-TECH supports 12 offices outside the US and provides technical assistance to strengthen healthcare systems and increase human capacity for health throughout the world. Dr. Downer is also an active contributor to UW’s teaching programs. She has taught courses on mass media in health, educational theory, and health promotion planning over the years. More recently, she has been teaching very large online and classroom-based graduate courses on global health management and leadership skills. Ann received the UW’s highest honor for Distinguished Contributions to Lifelong Learning in 2015.

Implementation science; distance education and e-learning; health communication; instructional design; educational leadership; global program management and leadership

Achembong LN, Ashu AM, Hagopian A, Downer A, Barnhart S. Cameroon mid-level providers offer a promising public health dentistry model. Hum Resour Health. 2012 Nov 26;10(1):46. doi: 10.1186/1478-4491-10-46.  PMID: 23181636    PMCID: PMC3529690
PubMed Central

Member, capstone for Molly de Gorgue
Health & Wellness Education for Incarcerated Women

Member, thesis committee for Jessica Broz
Are coping strategies used by households during times of food insecurity associated with nutritional status for children under 5 in Lao PDR?

International Training and Education Center on HIV (I-TECH)

I-TECH is funded by HRSA to coordinate human capacity development activities for the Global AIDS Program (GAP) field offices of CDC throughout the world. I-TECH currently operates projects in Botswana, the Caribbean Region, Ethiopia, Haiti, India, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Thailand, and Zimbabwe and maintains fully operational offices in three of these countries. I-TECH activities are diverse and include assessing capacity and need for clinical training, designing national and regional clinical training programs, conducting clinical training, evaluating the outcome of capacity development efforts, producing curricula and media-based learning tools, and providing technical experts for all aspects of HIV/AIDS clinic operations.

Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training (CHART) Initiative

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) provides this funding to advance development of the CHART network in the Caribbean region. The CHART Initiative is establishing and expanding a broad network of national HIV/AIDS training centers throughout the Caribbean, all coordinated by a regional center located at the University of the West Indies.

The Synergy Project

The Synergy Project is funded by USAID to increase the use of improved, effective, and sustainable responses to reduce HIV transmission and mitigate the impact of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. UW CHER is a partner to the prime contractor in WA DC and maintains a working team on the west coast in order to develop and update a web-enhanced resource center for support of HIV/AIDS program managers and to publish technical updates on emerging issues in global HIV programming.

Sample of Media Production with Cascade Health Communication

(Executive Producer)

  • Tambaram Journeys: Working Together to Respond to HIV/AIDS in Southern India AID
  • Epidemiology of the Caribbean Region: A Teaching Tool
  • Haba Na Haba: Stories of Health and Culture in Kenya
  • Double Jeopardy: Management of the HIV/Hepatitis C Co-Infected Patient
  • Community Support is Strong Medicine: Three Natives Share Their Stories About Living With HIV/AIDS
  • Occupational Exposure to HIV: Recommendations for PEP with Dr. David Spach
  • Oral Manifestations of HIV/AIDS: An Update with Joel Epstein, DMD, MSD, FRCD
  • Listen and Guide: Delivering Mental Health Care in HIV-Affected Alaskan Villages
  • Tumaini: Stories of Hope and Change in Kenya
  • Profile: Regional AIDS Training Network for Southern and Eastern Africa