Research Scientist

Sarah Tsay is a Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) student and Prajna Leadership Fellow at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Sarah is the Monitoring and Evaluation Program Manager at NYC Emergency Management (NYCEM), where she guides internal policies in emergency response and monitoring and evaluation.

She has created innovative public health planning efforts at NYCEM by integrating response operations with public health research methods, such as a mixed methods approach in addressing healthcare surge for nursing homes and a tool to estimate citywide EMS transportation time during large-scale evacuations. Ms. Tsay served as a Health and Medical Emergency Support Function Coordinator in NYC’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, addressing immediate needs across the healthcare sector (e.g., healthcare staffing, alternate care sites, procurement and distribution of critical resources). She remains involved in COVID-19 response and recovery efforts across the United States, serving as a doctoral consultant for Boston Public Health Commission to develop a citywide recovery plan and a Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fellow with Arlington, TX to develop public health infrastructure, with an emphasis on regional coalition development.

Sarah began her career in outcomes research and clinical trial data management, subsequently transitioning to humanitarian assistance upon pursuing her MPH. Ms. Tsay also conducted research at several NGOs, including epidemiological work at Epicentre (Médecins Sans Frontières), a global malnutrition study at IRC, and an analysis of Myanmar’s National Child Protection Database at Save the Children Myanmar.

Sarah is interested in interdisciplinary and intersectoral approaches to community preparedness, resilience, and response to disasters, particularly the use of data and technology to improve response coordination.


  • Emergency Response
  • Crisis Leadership and Decision-making
  • Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Public Health Preparedness


  • DrPH, Harvard University
  • MPH, Epidemiology, Public Health and Humanitarian Assistance, Columbia University
  • BSc, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

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