George Hobor, who joined the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) in 2017, is a program officer working to promote healthy, more equitable communities. He is committed to building the capacity of the nonprofit and public sectors to use data and research in their program and policy development, and to advancing a broader conception of health that extends beyond the health care system. Hobor describes his work as “using the power of data and research to find solutions to social-economic conditions that affect community health, such as residential segregation, housing security, and social mobility.”
Previously, Hobor served as the Healthy Communities Director for the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI). In this role, he developed and implemented data-driven projects that helped nonprofit organizations and governmental departments address the challenges of climate change, economic downturns, natural disasters, and other shocks. His work at LPHI included conducting original research related to health and well-being, instructing organizations and key stakeholders on using data and evidence-based approaches to program and policy development, and engaging organizations to build collaborative networks to exercise political power and influence change.
Hobor’s background also includes research on building stronger, healthier communities in the Northeast and Midwest. At Colgate University, and in positions he held in St. Louis and New Orleans, he researched why some communities cope with adversity, such as deindustrialization and natural disasters, better than others. His research also sought to explain the role of anchor institutions such as universities and hospitals – in addition to a community’s cultural and historical roots – in fostering economic development. Moreover, he has focused on the role of social capital and networks in facilitating adaptation and change, and has applied his research in actively helping communities formulate plans for addressing the social determinants of health.
Hobor received his MA in political science from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, and earned a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Arizona. A native of Syracuse, N.Y., he now resides in Pennington, N.J. with his wife, a sociologist, and his two daughters.
He enjoys spending time with his family, playing sports, reading, listening to music, and cheering for the New York Mets.