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The Hilltop Institute


January 17, 2024

Hilltop Executive Director Cynthia Woodcock to Retire

Cynthia Woodcock, Executive Director of The Hilltop Institute at UMBC, has announced her retirement effective May 1, 2024. Hilltop has been her professional home since 2004, and she has served as Hilltop’s Executive Director since 2013. Under her leadership, UMBC appointed Hilltop’s first national Advisory Board. Cynthia guided the development of Hilltop’s strategic plan, which has provided a roadmap for strengthening relationships with Maryland state agencies for research, policy analysis, and data analytics; advancing research and engaged scholarship at Hilltop; promoting experiential learning for UMBC students; and building Hilltop’s national reputation as a state health policy research institute. Cynthia also recognized that Hilltop’s success is dependent on the expertise and commitment of its people. She has worked tirelessly to build a culture of excellence, collaboration, and mutual respect at Hilltop, as well as to provide opportunities for Hilltop researchers and staff to grow and realize their professional goals and aspirations.

During Cynthia’s tenure, Hilltop has strengthened partnerships with the Maryland Department of Health and other state agencies. Hilltop has received research funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and PCORI, as well as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Commonwealth Fund, and Arnold Ventures.

Cynthia was the visionary behind Hilltop’s DataPort, an interactive dashboard for health care data visualizations that has become one of Hilltop’s most applauded products. With the assistance of UMBC’s Division of Information Technology, Hilltop has built a state-of-the-art, HIPAA-compliant infrastructure for advanced computing to support Hilltop’s vast data repository and sophisticated data analytics and predictive modeling.

Cynthia is especially proud of the role she played in the development of the AcademyHealth State-University Partnership Learning Network (SUPLN). Today, partnerships in 30 states are benefitting from networking and peer learning through SUPLN. Cynthia also promoted development of SUPLN’s Medicaid Outcomes Distributed Research Network (MODRN). Maryland and 13 other states are now conducting innovative cross-state research on Medicaid.

UMBC Vice Provost Antonio Moreira will lead a national search for Hilltop’s next Executive Director. Alice Middleton, Hilltop’s Deputy Director, will serve as Interim Executive Director after Cynthia retires on May 1 and until her successor is on board.

For media inquiries, please contact Marsha Willis.