Contact Information


Dr. Cantrell deeply believes everyone deserves the opportunity to be healthy and works collaboratively with individuals, communities, organizations, and governments to address the most pressing global health challenges. He has diverse public health experience applying his expertise in health promotion, health systems strengthening, health workforce development, community health, partnership development, and universal health for vulnerable populations in various roles within the U.S. government, the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), United Nations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and academic institutions.

Currently, Dr. Cantrell is serving in Egypt as a U.S. Diplomat in the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) supporting global efforts to confront the greatest challenges of our time including reversing the loss of global life expectancy, strengthening primary care and global health security, and tackling the climate crisis.  Before joining USAID, he was the Director of Public Health at Duquesne where he led the development and expansion of domestic and international public health programs, in addition to teaching various public health and health administration courses for graduate/undergraduate students.  Prior to Duquesne, Dr. Cantrell was a PAHO/WHO Advisor in Nicaragua where he directed the Family, Health Promotion, and Life Course Unit. In addition, he served within the United Nations (UN) System as the UN COVID-19 Country Coordinator, and the UN Health Sector Coordinator for emergency resource mobilization.

As a professor, Dr. Cantrell is steadfastly committed to students' learning experiences in the classroom and community, both domestically and abroad. He takes a student-centered, experiential approach and empowers students to lead the direction of their studies and personal growth. Through academic instruction and community engagement, he supports students to become inspired, globally prepared professionals ready to act to address the significant health needs of our world.

Mark has a Doctorate in Nursing (Administration and Health System Management), a Master’s in Public Health (Behavioral and Community Health), and advanced studies in Latin American Social and Public Policy, and International Health. He is fluent in Spanish and has worked professionally in the U.S., Egypt, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Peru, Honduras, and Colombia.


  • DNP, Administration and Health System Management, University of Pittsburgh, 2016
  • MPH,  Behavioral and Community Health Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, 2016
  • Graduate Certificate, Latin American Social and Political Policy, University of Pittsburgh, 2016
  • BSN, Nursing, Westminster College, 2006

Research Interests or Expertise

  • Health Promotion/Disease Prevention

  • Global Health

  • Health Systems Strengthening

  • Health Workforce Development 

  • Community Health 

  • Partnership Development

  • Vulnerable Populations

  • Determinants of Health