Giridhar Mallya, who joined the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 2015, is a public health physician and health policy expert who serves as senior policy officer. In this role, he acts as a strategist, advisor, and grantmaker at the nexus of health, race, and policy.
Currently, he is leading efforts to identify new institution-wide policy priorities, build durable policy infrastructure at the state and federal levels, and advance racial equity through governing. He has written, presented, and engaged the media on a wide range of issues, including the COVID-19 pandemic, preemption and the role of local government, housing affordability, and tax policy.
Giridhar was previously the Director of Policy and Planning for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health where he led the Get Healthy Philly tobacco control and obesity prevention initiative, which leveraged policy change and multi-sectoral collaborations to reduce adult and youth smoking and increase access to healthy foods while narrowing racial and socioeconomic disparities. This work has been recognized by the Society of Behavioral Medicine and the Harvard University Ash Center for Democratic Governance.
Giridhar is a board certified family physician and adjunct assistant professor of family medicine and community health at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He is a graduate of the Program in Liberal Medical Education at Brown University; completed his residency in Family and Community Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital; and was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania.
Born in Delaware County, Pa., Giridhar and his wife reside in Philadelphia, which has been their home for 20 years. He enjoys spending time with his nephews, reading most everything, and engaging in prayer and meditation.