Matthew Pierce, program officer, joined the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 2015. He works in the areas of public health law and tobacco control. Pierce is interested in finding more equitable ways to promote health and well-being. “We need interventions in which we share responsibility for health and health care,” he says. “We know that there are multiple ways in which law and policy can affect health outcomes, and the Foundation’s focus on the Culture of Health provides an opportunity to talk about problems realistically and catalyze change.”
Previously, Pierce served as associate director of the Health Law and Justice Program at the American University Washington College of Law in Washington. Earlier, he was a research associate at the University of North Carolina Injury Prevention Research Center. He also served as an assistant public defender in the Maryland Office of the Public Defender in Baltimore, and was a research assistant with the Center for Law and the Public’s Health and the Center for Gun Policy and Research at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.
Pierce earned a BA from Amherst College, an MPH from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and a Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center. He has written and presented on a variety of public health law topics, including prescription drug monitoring programs, HIV screening, and the public health and social justice implications of criminal backgrounds checks.
A native of Baltimore, Pierce now resides in Princeton, N.J. with his wife, Allison Groves, a faculty fellow at American University, and their two children. He enjoys spending time with his family, walking his dogs, and playing Scrabble and ping-pong when he can.