Hala Madanat, Ph.D.

Dr. Hala Madanat

2021 Outstanding Faculty Scholarship

Hala Madanat, Ph.D.

San Diego State University
Interim Vice President for Research and Innovation

What’s exciting about my work is that you’re building community relationships over the long term. I started out my research studying trends, then applied that to community interventions initially for obesity and cancer…and now for COVID-19.'

Major Accomplishments:

  • Named the Albert W. Johnson Distinguished Research Lecturer in 2020 in recognition of her outstanding research focus on health disparities.
  • Principal investigator for the $12 million San Diego State University/UC San Diego Cancer Center Partnership funded by the National Cancer Institute.
  • Addressed the COVID-19 pandemic by applying her research findings to provide culturally and linguistically consistent contact tracing and testing in Latinx, African America, Tagalog and Arabic-speaking communities in San Diego.

Distinguished Professor of Health Promotion and Behavioral Science Hala Madanat has led an exceptional career in public health, particularly in the the study of health disparities among Latinx communities. As a public health expert with a long record of service to the San Diego region, Madanat is leading a new partnership with San Diego County to support contact tracing and testing in underserved communities using culturally appropriate practices.

Madanat is an accomplished researcher in the fields of health promotions and behavior management whose work in the areas of obesity and nutrition and program evaluation has been cited by the United States Congress in enacting health policy changes. As the chief research officer for San Diego State University, she oversees all aspects of the university’s research endeavors including the San Diego State Research Foundation. She leads the evaluation of several NIH-funded center grants including the San Diego State University/UC San Diego Cancer Center Partnership. In total, she has served as the principal investigator, co-principal investigator or co-investigator on 15 grants totaling more than $45 million.

Prior to assuming her role as vice p​resident for Research ​and Innovation, Madanat served as the director of the School of Public Health where she provided strategic leadership for all policies and programs related to its research, teaching and outreach activities. During her tenure, she represented the school nationally at the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health, contributing to facilitating academic and practice partnerships. Madanat has published nearly 90 peer-reviewed publications, book chapters and books including serving as co-author of Introduction to Health Promotion and Behavioral Science in Public Health.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from the University of Jordan. Madanat was awarded her master’s degree in Community Health Sciences and Ph.D. in sociology from Brigham Young University where she also received her program’s Outstanding Alumni Award in 2018.