Kelly Gallagher is academically trained as a research scientist and educator and has worked for the past 10 years as an Epidemiologist with the New Mexico Department of Health. During her tenure as an Epidemiologist, Kelly aims to empower community members and elected officials by helping them interpret health data so they may, in turn, initiate public health action in their own communities. Kelly feels strongly that her role as a scientist is in part to educate non-scientist policymakers and constituents for the benefit of creating a critically-thinking society as well as to create sound, science-based policies. Policymakers have an obligation to understand science-based policy, but scientists need to disseminate data and principles in a manner accessible to policymakers, and thereby influence well-founded policies. In 2016, Kelly participated as a team leader for the National Leadership Academy for the Public’s Health, working on policies to reduce recidivism.