Suzanne Rivera, PhD, MSW

Vice President for Research
Office of Research and Technology Management
Associate Professor
Department of Bioethics
School of Medicine

Dr. Rivera is Vice President for Research and Technology Management at Case Western Reserve University, where she has broad responsibility for oversight of the research enterprise. She also is an Associate Professor in the Department of Bioethics. In addition to her university duties, she serves on the National Boards of Public Responsibility in Medicine & Research (PRIM&R) and the Council on Governmental Relations, and is a member of the Select Committee on Global Affairs of the National Council of University Research Administrators.

Previously, Dr. Rivera served as an appointed member of the U.S. DHHS Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Human Research Protections and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Human Studies Review Board (HSRB).  She also served a term as an elected member of the Board of Directors of the National Council of University Research Administrators.

Prior to arriving at CWRU, Dr. Rivera had university appointments at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas and at the University of California-Irvine. Before entering higher education management, she spent several years at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, first as a Presidential Management Intern, and later as a Program Specialist with the Administration for Children and Families. She holds a BA from Brown University, a Master of Social Welfare degree from UC Berkeley, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Public Affairs (health policy emphasis) from the University of Texas at Dallas.

Curriculum Vitae

Research Information

Research Interests

  • Research Ethics
  • Science Policy
  • Social Inequality in Clinical Trials
  • Animal Care and Use
  • Scientific Integrity

Professional Memberships

Dr. Rivera is a member of the Consortium to Advance Effective Research Ethics Oversight (AEREO []), a collaboration aiming to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of Institutional Review Boards.


Rivera, S.M. Clinical Research from Proposal to Implementation: What Every Clinical Investigator Should Know about the Institutional Review Board,” J Investig Med, 56(8): 975-84, December 2008.

Rivera, S.M. and Gilman, A.G. "Drug Invention and the Pharmaceutical Industry." In, The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 12th Edition. Goodman, L.S. and Gilman, A.G., eds. The Macmillan Co., New York, 2010.

Rivera, S.M. "Institutional Review Board Approval." In, Clinical Research: from Proposal to Implementation. McPhaul, M.J. and Toto, R.D., eds. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia, 2011.

Rivera, S.M. "Reconsidering Privacy Protections for Human Research." In, Human Subjects Research Regulation: Perspectives on the Future. Cohen, G. and Fernandez-Lynch, H., eds. MIT Press, Cambridge, 2014.

Rivera, S.M. “Privacy vs. Progress: Research Exceptionalism is Bad Medicine,” Health Matrix: Journal of Law- Medicine, 24(1): 49-64, May 2014.

Rothwell, E., Maschke, K., Botkin, J., Goldenberg, A., Murray, T., and Rivera, S.M. “Biobanking Research and Human Subjects Protections: Perspectives of IRB Leaders,” IRB: Ethics & Human Research, 37(2):8-13, March 2015.

Goldenberg, A.J., Maschke, K.J., Joffe, S., Botkin, J.R., Rothwell, E., Murray, T.H., Anderson, R., Deming, N., Rosenthal, B., and Rivera, S.M. IRB Practices and Policies Regarding the Secondary Research Use of Biospecimens,” BMC Medical Ethics, 16(1), 32, May 2015.

Rivera, S.M., Goldenberg, A.J., Mashke, K., Joffe, S., Botkin, J.R., Rothwell, E., Anderson, R., Aungst, H. "Investigator Experiences and Attitudes about Research with Biospecimens," Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics, 10(5):449-456, December 2015.

Rivera, S.M., Nichols, L., Brako, L, Croft, G, Russo, T., Phan, T. “CTSA Institution Responses to Proposed Common Rule Changes: Did They Get What They Wanted?” Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics, 12(2): 79-86, April 2017.

Rivera, S.M. and Brako, L. “Institutional Officials and the Price of Compliance,” Journal of Clinical Research Best Practices, 13(4), April 2017.

Nichols, L., Brako, L., Rivera, S.M., Tahmassian, A., Jones, M.F., Pierce, H.H. and Bierer, B.E. “What Do Revised U.S. Rules Mean for Human Research?” Science,357(6352): 650-651, August 2017.

Rivera, S.M., Brothers, K.B., Cadigan, J., Harrell, H.L., Rothstein, M.A., Sharp, R.R., Goldenberg, A.J. “Modernizing Research Regulations Is Not Enough: It’s Time to Think outside the Regulatory Box,” American Journal of Bioethics, 17(7):1-3, June 2017.

Rivera, S.M. “Reasonable Research Oversight: A Work in Progress,” IRB: Ethics & Human Research, 39(6):15-20, 2017.

Lynch, H.F, Bierer, B.E., Cohen, I.G., Rivera, S.M., eds. Specimen Science: Ethics and Policy Implications, MIT Press, Cambridge, 2017.

Visit Dr. Rivera’s Research Ethics Blog 


Bill of Health Science Policy Blog, Guest Blogger Series, 2012-2013:

Managing Externally Funded Sponsored Programs: A Guide to Effective Management Practices, co-authored with members of the Research Compliance and Administration Committee of the Council on Governmental Relations, March, 2016:

Panelist on “Sound of Ideas” radio program, WCPN Cleveland, January 31, 2017

Op-ed piece in Cleveland Plain Dealer, “March for Science Supports Research for All Our Futures,” April 14, 2017

Interview on “Ideastream,” television program, WVIZ  Cleveland, November 1, 2017

Op-ed piece with Nicholas Zingale in Crain's Cleveland Business, "Taking a Smart Approach to Our Vast Pool of Info," June 10, 2018:

Panelist on "Sound of Ideas" radio program, WCPN Cleveland, May 30, 2019: