Dr. Jeanine Abrams McLean is an evolutionary biologist, community organizer, and President at Fair Count. The goal of Fair Count is to build long-term power in communities that have been historically undercounted in the decennial census, underrepresented at the polls, and whose communities are often torn apart in redistricting. She is a highly skilled researcher with over 20 years of experience designing, managing, and implementing population-based studies and projects, and she has authored 25 peer-reviewed publications.
Dr. Abrams McLean received a bachelor’s degree in Biology with a minor in Theater Studies from Duke University. After college, she taught high school Biology, Physics, and Earth and Environmental Science in Charlotte, North Carolina for two years. She then earned a doctorate in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior from the University of Texas at Austin (UT-Austin). While at UT-Austin, she co-founded and directed a mentorship program for Black undergraduates. She also served as a supervisor for the Supplemental Instruction program where she provided best-practice training for teaching assistants, and she specifically worked with first-generation students to help support a successful transition from high school to college.
Dr. Abrams McLean began her postdoctoral studies at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). During her tenure at the CDC, she applied her expertise in computational biology and population-based studies to help understand and control the spread of antibiotic resistance. After her postdoctoral work, she remained at the CDC and led whole genome sequencing pilot projects at Hawaii and Texas state public health laboratories, and data collected were instrumental in stopping the spread of an antibiotic resistant gonococcal strain in Hawaii in 2016. To increase public awareness of laboratory contributions, she designed and led the laboratory tour for the Division of STD Prevention, and she received the Director’s Recognition Award for her work.
Since joining Fair Count, Dr. Abrams McLean’s work has focused on implementing data-driven strategies that use community-, faith-, and technology-based organizing to facilitate long-term power building in historically undercounted, marginalized, and disenfranchised communities. Most recently, she developed the Science for Social Equity program, which pairs community organizers and scientific researchers to create community-driven solutions to science-related issues that impact underrepresented communities. She also leads the Pandemic to Prosperity: South initiative (in partnership with the Southern Economic Advancement Project and the National Conference on Citizenship), which examines numerous data indicators associated with underlying disparities to help ensure that Southern communities and communities of color are not disproportionately impacted by future health crises.