James Marks, MD, MPH

James Marks, MD, MPH, is the former executive vice president for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) During his time at RWJF he oversaw all grantmaking, research and communications activities for the nation’s largest philanthropy dedicated solely to health. 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.

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.

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.