Pinnacle Lecture Series

Each semester, the Connell School brings a widely recognized nurse leader to Boston College to speak on an issue at the forefront of health care. Pinnacle lectures are open to all CSON students, staff, faculty, alumni, and preceptors and practitioners and scholars unaffiliated with Boston College are welcome.


Rear Admiral Susan Orsega

Chief Nurse Officer, United States Public Health Service

Monday, April 30, 2018
5:00 p.m.
Yawkey Center, Murray Room




Rear Admiral Susan Orsega

About Rear Admiral Susan Orsega

As Chief Nurse Officer, RADM Orsega leads the Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Nurse Professional Affairs, and advises the Office of the Surgeon General (OSG) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on the recruitment, assignment, deployment, retention, and career development related to the nurse category of the Commissioned Corps and all nurses of the USPHS.

Rear Admiral Orsega is assigned to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She is also responsible for the operational management of international research partnerships with South African and Malian Governments. In 2015, RADM Orsega played a fundamental role in the United States Government (USG) NIH Ebola response and was instrumental in the implementation of first human vaccine trial in Liberia and the operational management of the first Ebola ZMapp trial in Sierra Leone.

RADM Orsega began her career in the USPHS Commissioned Corps in 1989. She is recognized as a subject matter expert in realm of HIV/AIDS global research, advanced nursing practice, health diplomacy, and disaster response. She received the NIH Director’s award in 2002 and the distinguished Uniformed Services University Graduate of School of Nursing Alumni of the Year award in 2015.

RADM Orsega has a distinguished disaster care experience ranging from an elite medical team after 9-11 as well as 13 other national and international disaster/humanitarian USG missions. She was selected as the only USPHS nurse officer on the Advance Planning team, USS Pacific Peleliu Navy ship health diplomacy mission. RADM Orsega’s leadership strength is in bringing multidisciplinary members from different governments, organizations, cultures and languages together towards a common mission, connecting talents with initiatives. One of her primary goals in every assignment is to disseminate knowledge to improve nursing practice and health systems globally.

RADM Susan Orsega received her Bachelors of Science Nursing degree from Towson University. In 2001, she obtained her Master’s degree of Science from the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences Nurse Practitioner program. In 2013, she was inducted as a Fellow in the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. In 2016, RADM Orsega was inducted into the American Academy of Nursing.

Past Pinnacle Lecture Speakers

Click on the links below to view past lectures

Marla Weston
Chief Executive Officer, American Nurses Association Enterprise
Fall 2017

Patricia Flatley Brennan
Director, National Library of Medicine
Spring 2017

Loretta Sweet Jemmott
Vice President for Health and Health Equity and
Professor, College of Nursing and Health Professions,
Drexel University

Fall 2016

Kathleen Rice Simpson
Perinatal Clinical Nurse Specialist
Editor in Chief, 
MCN: The American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing
Spring 2015

Margaret Grey
Annie W. Goodrich Professor, Yale School of Nursing
Fall 2015

Antonia M. Villarruel
Margaret Bond Simon Dean of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
Spring 2015

Maureen E. Gormley '85
Chief Operating Officer, National Institutes of Health Clinical Center
Fall 2014

Courtney H. Lyder
Dean and Professor, UCLA School of Nursing
Assistant Director, UCLA Health System
Executive Director, UCLA Health System Patient Safety Institute

Spring 2014

Maureen P. McCausland ’72, M.S. ’77
Senior Vice President and System Chief Nursing Officer, MedStar Health
Fall 2013

Lee Woodruff
Best-selling author, CBS This Morning show contributor
Co-founder, Bob Woodruff Foundation

Spring 2013

Angela Barron McBride
Distinguished Professor and University Dean Emerita, Indiana University School of Nursing
Fall 2012

Karen Daley, M.S. '04, Ph.D. '10
President, American Nurses Association
Spring 2012

Karen H. Morin
President of the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International
Fall 2011

Linda Burnes Bolton
Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Spring 2011

Terry Fulmer, M.S. '77, Ph.D. '83 
Dean, New York University College of Nursing
Fall 2010