Deborah McLean Leow staff portrait



Deborah McLean Leow has more than 20 years’ experience managing school- and community-based health programs, with a special focus on HIV and substance abuse prevention and mental health promotion.

Leow’s work centers on the needs of underserved communities, especially racial/ethnic minority communities, and the importance of cultural appropriateness in the delivery of materials, training, and technical assistance. She currently works to implement public health strategies that support linkage to, and retention in, care and treatment among patients living with chronic diseases, including HIV.

Leow has significant expertise in providing training and technical assistance to nationwide audiences. She has led national projects for U.S. Department of Health and Human Services agencies, including the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Leow is a trustee of the Partners for Health Foundation and a former substance abuse leadership fellow from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She holds a BA from Hobart and William Smith Colleges and an MSW from Syracuse University and is currently pursuing an EdD in health and behavioral studies at Columbia University.

“Learning ignites hope and transforms lives. As a public health professional, I use education as my primary tool to promote health, prevent disease, and enhance health care for patients.”

Speaking Highlights

Eat.Play.Live Better!
Host, TEDx Montclair
Montclair, NJ
November 2013



“Tailoring Substance Abuse Interventions for Minority Groups”
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2008

Selected Publications

O’Donnell, L., Bonaparte, B., Leow, D. M., & Stueve, A. (2009). Keep it up: Development of a community-based health screening and HIV prevention strategy for reaching young African American men. AIDS Education and Prevention 21(4): 299–313.

Selected Resources


This website features a set of tools and resources from the STEPS to Care Program created to help individuals with HIV management.


STEPS to Care e-Tools is a set of public health strategies for individuals at the highest risk of dropping out of HIV care.