Committee Members

Members of the Secretary’s Advisory Committee.
Back Row (Left to Right): Paul Halverson, Nico Pronk, Glenda Wrenn Gordon, Jonathan Fielding, Joel Teitelbaum, Namvar Zohoori. Front Row (Left to Right): Dushanka Kleinman, Mary Pittman, Cynthia Gómez, ADM Brett Giroir (Assistant Secretary for Health), Don Wright (Director, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion), Nirav Shah, Therese Richmond, Susan Goekler, Edward Sondik.

Members of the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives for 2030


Chair Emeritus

  • Jonathan Fielding, MD, MPH, MBA, MA, Distinguished Professor of Health Policy and Management, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health; Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics, UCLA Geffen School of Medicine; Founder and Director, UCLA Center for Health Advancement


Committee Member Bios


Dushanka V. Kleinman, DDS, MScD
Professor and Associate Dean for Research, University of Maryland School of Public Health

Dushanka V. Kleinman, DDS, MScD, a Diplomate of the American Board of Dental Public Health (ABDPH), is Associate Dean for Research and Professor in the University of Maryland (UMD) School of Public Health. In this position, she supports interdisciplinary research, fosters university partnerships with community and health care organizations, advocates for campus-wide research resources and advancement of women and minority faculty, and plays a key role in assuring the continued accreditation of the UMD School of Public Health. During her years working for the Federal government, she served as Deputy Director, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Assistant Surgeon General (Rear Admiral) for the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps. In 2006, she completed a 5-year term as the 15th Chief Dental Officer for the USPHS and was the co-editor of the first-ever Surgeon General's report on oral health. Dr. Kleinman served as president of ABDPH, the American Association of Women Dentists, and the American Association of Public Health Dentistry. She received a DDS from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry and a MScD in dental public health from Boston University’s Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine. She is a member of the Santa Fe Group, American Dental Association’s National Oral Health Literacy Advisory Committee, and the Board of the Commissioned Officers Foundation for the Advancement of Public Health.

Nico Pronk, PhD, MA, FACSM, FAWHP
President, HealthPartners Institute

Dr. Nico Pronk is the President of HealthPartners Institute, one of the largest medical research and education centers in the Midwest. He is also the chief science officer for HealthPartners, a large non-profit, member-governed health system headquartered in Minneapolis. Dr. Pronk holds a faculty appointment at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts as an Adjunct Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences. His work is focused on connecting evidence of effectiveness with the practical application of programs, practices, policies, and systems that measurably improve population health and well-being.

Dr. Pronk is the Founding and Past President of the International Association for Worksite Health Promotion and is widely published in both the scientific and practice literature. Dr. Pronk received his doctorate degree in exercise physiology at Texas A&M University and completed his post-doctoral studies in behavioral medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Chair Emeritus

Jonathan Fielding, MD, MPH, MBA, MA
Distinguished Professor of Health Policy and Management, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health
Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics, UCLA Geffen School of Medicine
Founder and Director, UCLA Center for Health Advancement

Jonathan E. Fielding, MD, MPH, MBA, is a Distinguished Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in the Schools of Public Health and Medicine. He founded the UCLA Center for Health Advancement, which models policies and programs to cost effectively improve health and health equity, education, and criminal justice systems for populations and disadvantaged sub-groups.

Dr. Fielding recently completed 16 years of service as the Director and County Health Office of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Formerly he served as Massachusetts Commissioner of Public Health. He also chaired the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary’s Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives for 2020.

He currently chairs the Community Preventive Services Task Force, was a founding member of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, and co-founded the Big Cities Health Coalition. He is also Editor of the Annual Review of Public Health and on the Advisory Group to the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

He formerly chaired the Board of the American Legacy Foundation and was a Presidential appointee to the Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health—as well as an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine.

Dr. Fielding has written over 300 peer-reviewed articles, editorials, and commentaries. He received medical, public health, and history of science degrees from Harvard University and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business.


Susan F. Goekler, PhD, MCHES
Emeritus CEO, American School Health Association

As Executive Director and CEO of 2 professional associations—the Directors of Health Promotion and Education and the American School Health Association—Susan Goekler (also known as Susan Wooley) oversaw operations and represented the associations, its members, and the field. She has co-authored and co-edited several school health-relevant publications that include book chapters, encyclopedia articles, peer-reviewed journal articles, and books, including Health Is Academic: A Guide to Coordinated School Health Programs. She has worked in academia, schools, hospitals, non-profit agencies and associations, and the Federal government—as well as worked closely with state government-employed public health practitioners. She is currently living in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware and enjoying retirement from full-time work while taking on projects of interest. One such project is co-chairing a group to revise standards for health education teacher preparation that will inform accreditation decisions for professional preparation programs.

She received her bachelor’s degree with honors in biology from Case Western Reserve University, a master’s degree in health education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a PhD in health education from Temple University. She is a Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES).

Cynthia A. Gómez, PhD
Founding Director, Health Equity Institute, and Professor Emerita of Health Education, San Francisco State University

Cynthia A. Gómez, PhD, was the Founding Director of the Health Equity Institute at San Francisco State University. Gómez created an organization dedicated to innovative community-science partnerships to address health disparities. Gómez, a native of California and of Mexican descent, grew up in Ecuador and Puerto Rico. She earned a master's degree in counseling and consulting psychology from Harvard University and a PhD in clinical psychology from Boston University. She previously served as co-director of the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies at University of California San Francisco. Her work has focused on culture and sexual health, development of prevention interventions for vulnerable populations, and creating models for meaningful translation of science into community practice. Gómez has been a health policy advisor for over 20 years. She has served on the following advisory committees: the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS under both Clinton and GW Bush; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) HIV/STD Advisory Council; the Advisory Committee for Women's Services at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA); and the Institute of Medicine's Committees on Lesbian Health and Prisoners and Research. She is a member and past Chair of the Board of Directors of Public Responsibility in Medicine & Research, Chair of the Board of Trustees of Planned Parenthood Northern California, and an elected member of the American Psychological Association's Board of Professional Affairs. Gomez has recently retired from San Francisco State University and continues her health policy and consultation work.

Paul K. Halverson, DrPH, MHSA, FACHE
Founding Dean and Professor, Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health, Indiana University

Paul K. Halverson is the Founding Dean and Professor at the Indiana University (IU) Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). Prior to his appointment at IU, Dean Halverson served for 8 years as Director and State Health Official of the Arkansas State Department of Health and member of the governor’s cabinet under both Governor Huckabee and Governor Beebe. Dr. Halverson also served as the Director of the Division of Public Health Systems Development and Research and as a member of the Senior Biomedical Research Service for the World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Public Health Practice at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Prior to his appointments in public health, Dr. Halverson served as a hospital administrator in Minnesota and Michigan. Dr. Halverson’s research interests focus on public health systems and services research—primarily on public health infrastructure and organizational effectiveness.

Mary A. Pittman, DrPH
President and Chief Executive Officer, Public Health Institute

Mary A. Pittman, DrPH, is Chief Executive Officer and President of the Public Health Institute (PHI) in Oakland, California. Throughout her career, she has spearheaded efforts to align health care and public health sectors in order to improve population health and build equity. She is nationally recognized for her leadership in improving community health, addressing health inequities among vulnerable people, and promoting prevention and quality of care. During her tenure, PHI has expanded their global portfolio, emphasizing women and girl’s empowerment and noncommunicable diseases. PHI has expanded their research and data strategies to improve population health and equity, built strong web-based education through Dialogue4Health, built robust public-private partnerships, and has been recognized as one of the 50 best nonprofit workplaces in the Nation. Pittman emphasizes the use of multi-sectoral models for community engagement and community building, incorporating innovative data and communication tools. Pittman previously headed the Health Research and Educational Trust, an affiliate of the American Hospital Association, and the California Association of Public Hospitals.

Therese S. Richmond, PhD, CRNP, FAAN
Andrea B. Laporte Professor of Nursing
Associate Dean for Research & Innovation
University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing

Dr. Richmond is the Andrea B. Laporte Professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and serves as its Associate Dean for Research & Innovation. She has an extensive program of research aimed at improving recovery from serious injury by addressing the interaction between physical injury and its psychological repercussions. Her science also focuses on prevention of intentional and unintentional injuries. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Pennsylvania Department of Health have supported her research. Dr. Richmond is currently funded by the NINR to examine the disparate effects of serious injury in urban, black men. She serves on the Executive Committee of the CDC-funded Penn Injury Science Center and directs its Training, Education and Outreach Core. The Center performs the highest quality research, training, and translation of scientific discoveries into practice and policy to reduce injuries and violence, especially among vulnerable populations. She serves on the Executive Committee of the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, the Training & Infrastructure Committee of the Society for Advancement of Violence and Injury Research, and the Science Committee of the Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science.

Nirav R. Shah, MD, MPH
Adjunct Professor, Stanford University Department of Medicine

Nirav R. Shah, MD, MPH, is a leader in patient safety and quality, the social determinants of health, and the strategies required to transition to lower-cost, patient-centered health care. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine, is a graduate of Harvard College and Yale School of Medicine, and is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine. He has served as a director for public and private institutions, as the chairman of National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant review panels, on the editorial boards of medical journals, and published over 100 peer-reviewed articles. Previously, he served as the Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for clinical operation for Kaiser Permanente in Southern California, and as Commissioner of the New York State Department of Health.

Edward J. Sondik, PhD
Former Director, National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

From 1996 to his retirement in 2013, Dr. Sondik served as Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). As one of the US Federal statistical agencies, NCHS is responsible for monitoring America's health and health system. Concurrently he served as Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). From 1976 to 1996, Dr. Sondik held several positions in the National Institutes of Health (NIH), first in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), and later in the National Cancer Institute (NCI). At NCI, he most recently served as Deputy Director, Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, and—in 1995—served as Acting Director of the NCI. Throughout his government career, the collection, interpretation, and use of health-related data have been principal foci.

Dr. Sondik received BS and MS degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Connecticut and a PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford University. Prior to government service, he was on the faculty of the Department of Engineering-Economic Systems in Stanford University. Since retirement from the Federal government, he has held several consulting positions, including serving as Principal Scientist of Tridata LLC.

Joel B. Teitelbaum, JD, LLM
Associate Professor, Milken Institute School of Public Health and School of Law
Co-Director, National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership
The George Washington University

Joel Teitelbaum, JD, LLM, is a tenured Associate Professor of Health Policy, Director of the Hirsh Health Law and Policy Program, and Co-Director of the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership at the George Washington University (GW) Milken Institute School of Public Health. He also carries a faculty appointment with the GW Law School, and served for 11 years as Vice Chair for Academic Affairs in the Department of Health Policy.

Professor Teitelbaum has taught courses on health care law, health care civil rights, public health law, and minority health policy—and he was the first member of the Public Health faculty to receive the University-wide Bender Teaching Award. He has authored dozens of articles, book chapters, and policy papers on civil rights issues in health care, medical-legal partnership, and health reform. He is the lead author of Essentials of Health Policy and Law, Third Edition (2017). He has also directed many health law and policy research projects, and was co-recipient of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator Award in Health Policy Research. He serves as Special Advisor to the American Bar Association’s Commission on Veterans’ Legal Services and as a member of the Board of Advisors of PREPARE, a national advanced care planning organization.

Glenda L. Wrenn Gordon, MD, MSHP, FAPA
Chief Medical Officer, 180 Health Partners

Dr. Wrenn is the Chief Medical Officer of 180 Health Partners, where she provides executive clinical leadership for its programs that address the Social Determinants of Health. Prior to her work at 180 Health Partners, Dr. Wrenn served as founding Director of the Kennedy-Satcher Center for Mental Health Equity in the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine.

Namvar Zohoori, MD, MPH, PhD
Chief Science Officer and Deputy State Health Official, Arkansas Department of Health
Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Public Health

Namvar Zohoori is Chief Science Officer and Deputy State Health Official at the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) and is Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Public Health. He earned his MD degree from the University of the West Indies in Jamaica, his MPH from Johns Hopkins University, and his PhD in Nutrition and Epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dr. Zohoori joined the ADH in 2004, having worked previously in the areas of public health, nutrition, epidemiology, aging, and chronic diseases in Russia, China, the Philippines, Jamaica, and the United States. As the state’s Chronic Disease Director, and as Director of the Center for Health Advancement, he directed Arkansas’ programs in Chronic Disease Prevention and Control; Tobacco Prevention and Cessation; Maternal, Adolescent and Child Health; WIC; and Oral Health. He has served as Chairman of the Arkansas Legislative Stroke Task Force and of the Arkansas Chronic Disease Coordinating Council.

Dr. Zohoori served for 7 years on the Board of Directors and as President for the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors. He has served on a number of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Special Emphasis Review Panels and as a member of expert panels for the CDC-American Medical Association-AARP Preventive Services Collaboration for Building Clinical and Community Linkages. He has worked and consulted with a number of national and international organizations, including the Institute of Medicine, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the World Bank, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, and WHO/PAHO.