Nkiru Nnawulezi Receives 2021 Linda E. Saltzman New Investigator Award

The Linda E. Saltzman New Investigator Award was established in memory of Linda E. Saltzman, PhD, Senior Scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Division of Violence Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. The award recognizes an outstanding new investigator with 2-10 years of experience working in the field of the prevention of intimate partner violence, domestic violence, sexual violence or dating violence. Last week, Nkiru Nnawulezi, PhD, was honored for her innovative research on systemic barriers to safety and care for marginalized survivors and commitment to the methods and values of transformative community-based participatory research at the 9th National Conference on Health and Domestic Violence.

Futures Without Violence, the CDC, RALIANCE and a committee of experts selected Nnawulezi from an impressive array of applicants. In an interview conducted with Futures Without Violence, Nnawulezi discussed her work, stating “I believe that individuals cannot be well and healthy unless our systems are well and healthy. …As a black feminist community psychologist, I seek to architect systems that transform survivors’ material and social conditions.” She is an Assistant Professor of Community Psychology at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC). During the interview, she noted, “I am so grateful to Dr. Saltzman for the incredible contributions she made to the gender-based violence movement.”

Linda E. Saltzman connected research to policy and science to practice in ways that broke new ground, challenging the research community to explore violence and helping advocates base their work on science. Saltzman worked at the CDC from 1984 until her death in 2005. While there, she initiated numerous studies that built understanding about the causes and consequences of domestic and sexual violence. Much of her work focused on public health surveillance of violence against women, and violence as it relates to pregnancy and other reproductive health issues. She helped develop and test uniform definitions for intimate partner and sexual violence, which have made data collection more effective. She became one of the CDC’s top experts on violence and one of the violence prevention movement’s most trusted allies. A highly regarded expert, Dr. Saltzman authored and co-authored several groundbreaking studies, including Intimate Partner Violence Surveillance: Uniform Definitions and Recommended Data Elements.

The CDC Foundation is honored to partner with Futures Without Violence and RALIANCE in presenting Nkiru Nnawulezi, PhD, with the Linda E. Saltzman New Investigator Award.

Susanne Salehi
Susanne Salehi is an advancement officer for the CDC Foundation.