Dorothea de Zafra Atwell, MPIA

Atwell, Dorothea 2140902_32621583 TP

Title: Retired Director of Science Education, Retired Senior Program Analyst

Company: National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Location: Bethesda, Maryland, United States

Dorothea E. de Zafra-Atwell, MPIA, Retired Senior Program Analyst at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Executives for dedication, achievements, and leadership in Management.

Ms. de Zafra-Atwell is proud of leading a federal inter-agency work group in creating the first government-wide standards in information systems security across civilian agencies. She was inspired by President John F. Kennedy to work for public service, and attributes her success to her parents’ encouragement to make a positive difference in the world. Though she has encountered obstacles due to her gender, Ms. de Zafra-Atwell served the American public in various roles from 1969 to 2002, winning 1997 Educator of the Year from the Federal Information Systems Security Educators’ Association and a 2006 Volunteer Service Award as the Commencement Speaker at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh.

Born in Rochester, New York to Carlos de Zafra Jr. and Dorothea S. Michelsen de Zafra, Ms. de Zafra-Atwell earned a BA, magna cum laude, in non-western civilizations from the University of Rochester in 1963, and went on to complete a master’s degree in public and international affairs from the University of Pittsburgh in 1965. She entered the U.S. Public Health Service as a management intern in 1969, after four years in the field of international education, later earning a diploma in information resources management from the National Defense University in 1994. Ms. de Zafra-Atwell has held a series of positions, including privacy act officer, information systems security program manager, and legislative program, and management analyst for the Service. She has also participated in numerous professional conferences, including serving as a workshop leader, and has held Board positions and elected office in professional associations which have helped to define the field of fair information practice in the federal government.

A recipient of the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018, Ms. de Zafra-Atwell has been featured in Who’s Who of American Women, Who’s Who of America and Who’s Who in the World, and intends to continue to offer her expertise in a collegiate or non-profit setting in the coming years. She is currently active on the Lifelong Learning Advisory Council of the University of Rochester, and served as chair of the board of a local historical society in 2019. Transitioning from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health in the US Department of Health and Human Services to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to develop it science education program, Ms. De Zafra-Atwell’s accomplishments included editing publications receiving wide national distribution, such as “Personal Steps to a Healthy Choice: A Woman’s Guide” and articles like “Identification of At-Risk Drinking and Intervention with Women of Child-Bearing Age: A Guide for Primary Care Providers.” In her free time, Ms. de Zafra-Atwell enjoys volunteer work, gardening, educational travel, mentoring, history, archaeology, current events, and elder advocacy.

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