Debora Freitas López

Executive Director
Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs
Debora Frietas Lopez

2022 Leadership Journey Project: Diversified Leadership in Health Systems: A Key Pillar to Effective Behavior-led Systems Thinking

Debora B. Freitas López, MS, is the executive director for the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs. She is a global leader in social and behavior change (SBC) with broad-based experience leading programs in health and non-health sectors across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean and the Middle East. Her experiences include working with government, civil society, and private sector actors along with global, regional, and local organizations and donors/funders to design and implement evidence-informed initiatives that effectively address complex health and non-health challenges and achieve key outcomes. She has a demonstrated record of successfully achieving and outperforming organizational targets with respect to program design and implementation, strategic planning, partner engagement, and communications.

Ms. Freitas López has served on various global boards and technical groups, including recently as the chair of the Global Alliance for Social and Behaviour Change. She also is part of FP2030’s Family Planning High Impact Practices Technical Expert Group and served two terms on the Steering Committee for the SBC Working Group of RBM Partnership to End Malaria. Her recent work includes co-authoring a FP High Impact Practice (HIP) Brief – ‘Knowledge, Beliefs, Attitudes, and Self-efficacy: strengthening an individual’s ability to achieve their reproductive intentions’, a four-page brief in partnership with Population Council/Breakthrough Research, ‘Gender Integration in Social and Behavior Change: what does it take?’, and a published manuscript, ‘Developing a patient-centered community-based model for management of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis in Uganda: a discrete choice experiment’. She also has led/co-led several global virtual and in-person sessions focused on different areas in SBC, including codes of ethics for SBC. Ms. Freitas López was part of the 2022 North American Cohort for WomenLift Health’s Leadership Journey. Her leadership project focused on diversifying leadership through a behavior-led systems thinking approach. She holds an M.S. in Health Evaluation Services/Epidemiology from the University of Virginia. She is the spouse of a disabled US Army Veteran and has two school-aged children.

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