Michelle Larkin, associate chief of staff and associate vice president – Program, directs administrative activities of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and program strategies related to healthy children, healthy communities, and equity. She helps shape the Foundation’s strategies, policies, and impact as it works to build a Culture of Health for our nation where everyone has the opportunity to live the healthiest lives possible, no matter where they live or how much they make.
Previously, she served as the interim vice president and directed program portfolios focused on catalyzing demand for healthy places and practices, building bridges between health and health care, engaging business for health, strengthening vulnerable families, and achieving health equity. Larkin also directed the Foundation’s Public Health team to improve federal, state, and local public health systems; build the evidence for effective public health practice and policy; and advocate for the use of law and policy to improve health. From 2003 through 2006, she co-led the Foundation’s Tobacco team, promoting increased tobacco excise taxes, state and local smoke-free air laws, and funding for tobacco prevention and treatment.
Before joining the Foundation, Larkin worked as an oncology nurse at the University of Maryland Medical System in Baltimore, where she experienced the opportunities, challenges, and rewards of bedside nursing. She left this field to focus on population health improvement through systems, law, and policy change at the federal level. Larkin has worked at the Office on Smoking and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and for the U.S. Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee.
Larkin received a JD from Seton Hall University School of Law, an MS in nursing/health policy from the University of Maryland, and a BSN from the University of Pennsylvania.