Marjorie Paloma, MPH, is the senior policy adviser and senior program officer for the Health Group. In this role, Paloma guides the timing of and tactical strategy for health policy and advocacy efforts and leads the coordination of these efforts across the Childhood Obesity and Public Health teams, and Vulnerable Populations Portfolio. She describes her role as “an incredible opportunity to look at the ‘big picture’ and leverage the research, investments, leadership and networks across the Health Group to create timely and enduring social change.”
Since joining the foundation in 2004, Paloma’s work has focused on advocating for laws and policies to improve health in the areas of childhood obesity, tobacco control and other public health issues. Her portfolio includes working with federal, state and local policy-makers and community leaders to adopt and implement laws and policies that will make it easier for people to make healthier choices in the communities where they live, learn, work and play. She brings a rich background and broad experience in program development and management, policy analysis, advocacy and community organizing.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Paloma managed the Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line at the University of Wisconsin-Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention, where she designed and implemented innovative ideas to improve promotion, access to, and utilization of telephone-based services to help people quit tobacco use. Prior to that, she staffed the Wisconsin Tobacco Control Board, an 18-member governor-appointed oversight board. In this capacity she provided guidance in the development of the comprehensive state tobacco control strategy and organized and coordinated the state and local policy advocacy efforts. Previously she served as project director of a South Bronx community-based organization where she provided leadership to advocate for access to quality and sensitive health care for the borough’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. She believes it was this experience that sparked her passion for creating social change. As she puts it, “I learned that what drives me is creating real change, the kind of change where it’s not just about feeling good about your actions. It’s about making the world a little bit better, safer, and healthier than the day before. And it’s about creating change that endures.”
Born in Baltimore, Md., Paloma earned an MPH in sociomedical sciences from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, and a BA in biology from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland. She resides with her partner in Central N.J., and has one child. She enjoys live music, cooking ethnic food, and has plans to hike every national park in her lifetime.