Ashley Crawford Starck, MPH, joined the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) in 2017 as a program associate working to promote healthy, more equitable communities. She was drawn to the Foundation’s commitment to building a Culture of Health, which provides a vision of a society where everyone has the opportunity to live a healthier life. She believes that “achieving this vision will require cross-sector collaboration on policy, systems, and environmental change in many communities, particularly the most under-resourced and historically marginalized.” She views her role as a capacity builder and convener, collaborating to create the conditions that will sustain well-being and health equity.
Previously, Starck served as a Health Equity Graduate Intern at Prevention Institute in Oakland, Calif. While there, she carried out research for the RWJF-commissioned “Countering the Production of Health Inequities” report and conducted key-informant interviews to identify innovative policies and practices that promote community safety and positive early childhood development.
Starck was also project manager for Diversity, Inclusion and Global (DIG) and Community Health at the YMCA of Greater Charlotte in Charlotte, N.C. There she worked to increase membership, staff, and board diversity and managed a Community Transformation Grant, which helped to launch a mobile market and increase access to physical activity and healthy eating for four afterschool/early childhood sites.
In Washington, D.C., Starck’s earlier positions focused on equitable development as a community organizer with Organizing Neighborhood Equity (ONE DC); youth development as a community liaison at the Richardson Youth Center of Sasha Bruce Youthwork, Inc.; and the elimination of health disparities as a nationally-selected Barbara Jordan Health Policy Scholar.
Starck earned a BS in Biology from Davidson College and an MPH in Health Behavior from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 2016, she was the recipient of the Lucy S. Morgan Award for outstanding scholarship, integrity, leadership, and commitment to public health practice.
Born and raised in St. Louis, she now resides in New Jersey with her husband. She enjoys music, art, and yoga, and hopes to someday compete in a marathon.