Michelle A. Larkin, JD, MS, RN, associate vice president and associate chief of staff, directs all program and administrative activities of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s program portfolios. The program portfolios focus on catalyzing demand for healthy places and practices, building bridges between health and health care, engaging business for health, strengthening vulnerable families, and eliminating health disparities. In this role, she helps shape the Foundation’s strategies, policies, and impact, building a Culture of Health for our nation where everyone has the opportunity to live healthier lives, no matter where they live or how much they make.
Previously, Larkin directed the Foundation’s Public Health team to improve federal, state, and local public health systems; build the evidence for effective public health practice and policy; and advocate for the use of law and policy to improve health by co-leading the Foundation’s efforts to build the public health law field. From 2003 through 2006, she co-led the Foundation’s Tobacco team, promoting increased tobacco excise taxes, state and local smoke-free air laws, and funding for tobacco prevention and treatment.
Before joining the Foundation, Larkin worked as an oncology nurse at the University of Maryland Medical System in Baltimore, Md., where she experienced the opportunities, challenges, and rewards of bedside nursing. She left bedside nursing to focus on population health improvement through systems and policy change at the federal level. As a Presidential Management Fellow, she worked at the Office on Smoking and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and as a legislative fellow for the U.S. Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee. Upon completion of her fellowship, she served as a health policy analyst at the Office on Smoking and Health, CDC, in Washington, D.C.
Larkin is a member of the American Public Health Association, the American Bar Association, and the New Jersey Bar. She also serves on the National Board of Public Health Examiners and the Institute of Medicine Population Health Roundtable.
Larkin received a JD from Seton Hall University School of Law, an MS in nursing/health policy from the University of Maryland, and a BSN from the University of Pennsylvania. She and her spouse have one child and live in Bordentown City, N.J.