Dwayne Proctor is team director for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Childhood Obesity team. He believes that the Foundation’s work presents a unique opportunity to “focus on the needs of the underrepresented in ensuring quality health and health care for all Americans.” As the Childhood Obesity team leader, Proctor guides the team toward its strategic objective of reversing the childhood obesity epidemic by 2015.
The multidisciplinary team concentrates its efforts on halting the rise in childhood obesity rates by promoting healthy eating and physical activity for children ages 3-18 in schools and communities nationwide. Proctor notes that RWJF’s programming in childhood obesity prevention “focus on the policies that shape the environments where children live, learn and play and seek to create support for opportunities for kids to eat right and be physically active.” With its concentration on reaching children at greatest risk—African American, Hispanic, Native American, and Asian/Pacific Islander children living in low-income communities—the team builds evidence on programs that work well, tests innovative approaches, educates leaders, and invests in advocacy strategies.
Proctor came to RWJF in 2002 as a senior communications and program officer, working on such child health and risk-prevention initiatives as Nurse-Family Partnership, Free to Grow, Leadership to Keep Children Alcohol-Free and National Campaign to Prevent Teenage Pregnancy. Previously, he served as an assistant professor at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, with a focus on implementing programs to decrease interpersonal violence among at-risk youth. He also was a Fulbright Fellow in Senegal, West Africa, charged with investigating the effectiveness of HIV/AIDS risk messages in raising awareness of AIDS as a national health problem.
Proctor received his doctoral, master’s and bachelor’s degrees in communication science from the University of Connecticut. He enjoys making and playing West African drums and traveling with his family. He and his wife, Laura, a vice president for marketing with GS1 Global, live in Princeton Junction. They have two children.