RWJF Health & Society Scholar Named to White House Fellows Program

Sep 14, 2011, 12:12 PM, Posted by mfreeman

Wizdom Powell, PhD, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Health & Society Scholar (2005-2007) has been chosen for the prestigious White House Fellows program. The nonpartisan program is designed to offer hands-on, up-close experience in government, with participants working at senior levels of the Executive Branch of the federal government. According to the White House, “Selected individuals typically spend a year working as a full-time, paid Fellow to senior White House Staff, Cabinet Secretaries and other top-ranking government officials. Fellows also participate in an education program consisting of roundtable discussions with renowned leaders from the private and public sectors, and trips to study U.S. policy in action both domestically and internationally.”

Powell is currently on leave from her post as an assistant professor of health behavior and health education at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health, and from her position as a UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center faculty member. Her research focuses on the impact of neighborhood, health care and socioeconomic resources on racial health disparities, and she has focused particularly on health disparities among African American men. Earlier this year, she presented findings from her recent work at a gathering of current and alumni Health & Society Scholars at the National Institutes of Health.

Powell will spend her fellowship at the U.S. Department of Defense.

She is the second Health & Society Scholar to be named to the program, following in the footsteps of Mehret Mandefro, MD, MSc, from the 2007-2009 cohort, who served in the Department of Veterans Affairs as part of the 2009-2010 class of White House Fellows. In addition, four RWJF Clinical Scholars have served as White House Fellows.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Human Capital Blog. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors.