Former Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Executive Vice President Joins CDC Foundation Board of Directors


James Marks, MD, MPH, has been elected to the board of directors of the CDC Foundation. Marks recently retired from his role as executive vice president for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), where he oversaw all grantmaking, research and communications activities for the nation’s largest philanthropy dedicated solely to health.

Based in Atlanta, the CDC Foundation is classified as a 501(c)(3) public charity and is the sole entity authorized by Congress to raise private funds in support of the mission and work of CDC. It extends the reach of the CDC with external partners via over 1,600 partnership, one of which is RWJF.

During his time at RWJF Marks led many major initiatives including efforts to reverse the epidemic of childhood obesity, ranking the health of all US counties and with the Federal Reserve bringing the fields of community development and public health together. With extensive experience in health and health care, Marks previously served as senior vice president and director for program portfolios at RWJF since 2004.

Before joining RWJF, Marks held important leadership roles in public health, including serving as assistant surgeon general and director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Throughout his tenure at CDC, Marks developed and advanced systematic ways to detect and prevent chronic diseases, to monitor their major risk factors such as tobacco use and the obesity epidemic; and to improve reproductive and infant health.

“Jim is a respected leader in health and health care, and his commitment to creating a healthier society for everyone will be a tremendous asset to the CDC Foundation,” said Judith Monroe, MD, president and chief executive officer of the CDC Foundation. “His knowledge and deep understanding of philanthropy will be invaluable to our partnership-building efforts.”

A national leader in public health for more than 35 years, Marks has received numerous awards from organizations such as the American Cancer Society, National Arthritis Foundation, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists, Association of State and Territorial Chronic Disease Directors and U.S. Public Health Service. He was elected to the Institute of Medicine in 2004 in recognition of his accomplishments in epidemiology and public health. He has served on many governmental and nonprofit committees, including the executive board of the American Public Health Association. Marks has published extensively in the areas of maternal and child health, health promotion, chronic disease prevention and health policy.

“I am extremely honored to have been elected to the board of the CDC Foundation,” said Marks. “I have tremendous respect and affection for CDC where I developed as a public health professional. Our nation is struggling to manage the rising costs of health care and slowing progress in life expectancy relative to other developed countries. I believe public health has much to offer in reversing these trends.”  


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