Staff Bios

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M. Zulayka Santiago, MPA


Zulayka Santiago joined the NC Oral Health Collaborative as the Director in August 2015. In her role, Zulayka works to convene a diverse group of stakeholders committed to building health equity for all North Carolinians.

Prior to joining the NC Oral Health Collaborative, Zulayka worked as an independent consultant, providing leadership, capacity building and technical support on various projects relating to social justice, philanthropy, cooperatives and community engagement. In previous twists along her interesting career path, Zulayka has served as Health Disparities Program Officer with the NC Health & Wellness Trust Fund; Youth Program Director and subsequently Executive Director for El Pueblo Inc., a statewide Latino advocacy organization, and Co-Manager for the NC Peoples’ Coalition for Giving. These are just a few of her many noteworthy endeavors.

Zulayka holds a Master of Public Administration degree from University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill with a Certificate in Nonprofit Management and received her undergraduate degree in Pan-African Studies from Barnard College, Columbia University. She is a also a part of the 06-08 William C. Friday Fellowship for Human Relations through the Wildacres Leadership Initiative.

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Suzanne Martin, MSW


Suzanne Martin joined the NC Oral Health Collaborative as the Director of Outreach and Engagement in May 2017. In her role, Suzanne strives to achieve oral health equity for all North Carolinians through network building and systems change with stakeholder groups statewide.  She will oversee the implementation of a comprehensive communications campaign that will include: broad dissemination of the Portrait of Oral Health, Innovations Bank, NC Oral Health Agenda, and culturally appropriate health messages.

Prior to joining the NC Oral Health Collaborative, Suzanne worked at the American Cancer Society as the Program Manager for the National Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Vaccination Roundtable. She has also previously served in various roles for North Carolina State University (NCSU), including being the Undergraduate Advising Coordinator and a Graduate Research and Teaching Assistant for the Department of Social Work, and an Education and Training Graduate Assistant for the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity (OIED).

Suzanne holds a Master of Social Work degree from North Carolina State University and received her undergraduate degree in Human Services from Peace College (now known as William Peace University).