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Director Global Health Security

Carolynn Poulsen is the Director of Abt’s Global Health Security Account. She has nearly 20 years of experience overseeing the design and implementation of global health programs focusing on infectious disease and health systems strengthening. Poulsen is fluent in French and Spanish and has supported the delivery of effective global health solutions in more than 30 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Poulsen oversees Abt’s efforts in crafting innovative solutions to combat the world's most critical health security challenges. She ensures that partner governments and clients access the full breadth of Abt’s health security capabilities and diverse bench of technical experts to address high-risk pathogens and improve health systems’ outbreak resilience. Some of her current projects include supporting the governments of Colombia, Jamaica, Nepal, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan in designing locally valued, sustainable, and long-term global health security solutions.

Poulsen’s career began in grassroots HIV and sexual and reproductive health organizations in South America and East Africa, where she learned about infectious disease diagnostics, prevention campaigns, and the relationship between ineffective systems and disease transmission. From there she worked for USAID at the Mission to the African Union, designing programs and facilitating multi-country cooperation on a broad range of health and social priorities, including supporting the establishment of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. Poulsen spent several years managing and expanding Pathfinder International’s portfolio of programs in West and Central Africa, leading country and project teams responsible for $65 million of annual programming, working with seven different governments and diverse clients.  Most recently, Poulsen served as growth lead for infectious disease and global health security at ICF, where she designed and led the execution of ICF’s growth strategy in those areas with an annual pipeline of over $350 million.


  • Program and Technical Solution Design
  • Portfolio Management
  • Strategic Partnership Development
  • Design and Leadership of Growth Strategies
  • Cultivating a Culture of Growth and Innovation

Key Projects:

  • USAID Local Health Systems Strengthening Project
  • CDC Pandemic Preparedness
  • USAID Eliminating Tuberculosis in Central Asia
  • USAID TB Free Uzbekistan
  • USAID Mozambique Efficiencies for Clinical HIV/AIDS Outcomes
Carolynn Poulsen