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Michelle Sarju, MSW

Bio and contact information for Michelle Sarju, MSW, NWCPHP Director of the Northwest Public Health Leadership Institute.

Michelle SarjuNWPHLI Director


Michelle Sarju, MSW, is Director of the Northwest Public Health Leadership Institute. She is a Maternal and Child Health (MCH) professional with over two decades of experience in the field. She holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Washington. Michelle also graduated from the Seattle Midwifery School in 1999 and practiced for 10 years as an out-of-hospital midwife in Seattle, Washington.

Areas of Expertise

  • Maternal and child health policy, programs, systems, and advocacy work
  • Early childhood program development and implementation
  • Racial and health equity in Maternal and child health
  • Community-based organizations and collective impact
  • Collaborative leadership

She has provided strategic leadership to local, national, and international MCH work and racial equity efforts. She was a key participant and advisor in a state-wide initiative to build a racial equity theory of change for the State of Washington’s Early Learning Plan. In 2015 she was appointed by the King County Executive to be Co-Chair of the Best Starts for Kids initiative—an initiative passed by King County voters to invest in prevention and early intervention for children, youth, families, and communities.

Michelle is currently Project/Program Manager, Best Starts for Kids, Community-based Parenting and Peer Support. She is also a Clinical Instructor in the University of Washington School of Public Health Department of Health Services.