Shelby Tarutis studied biochemistry and literature at The Evergreen State College (BS, 1976) and received her Master of Public Health in Health Services from the University of Washington (1996). She received a Certificate in Executive Development from the UW Foster School of Business (2018). She has experience with coordinating research studies, managing data collection and planning budgets for grant applications. For over 25 years, she obtained grant funding and coordinated village development projects in The Gambia, West Africa. In her spare time, she volunteers with Gambia Health Education Liaison Project, a locally based non-profit.