Giridhar Mallya, who joined the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 2015, is an accomplished public health physician and health policy expert. Working to advance the role of policy in achieving a Culture of Health, particularly at the state and local level, he views the Foundation as “a national leader in marshaling the evidence used to shape policies that foster healthier people, communities, and institutions.”
Previously, Giridhar was director of Policy and Planning for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. In this position, he helped define public health priorities for Philadelphia, coordinated research and evaluation activities, and worked with key leadership to set policies and develop regulations. He led the Department’s Get Healthy Philly tobacco control and obesity prevention initiatives, which leveraged policy change and multi-sectoral collaboration to substantially reduce adult and youth smoking and childhood obesity while narrowing racial and socioeconomic disparities. The effort was recognized by the Society of Behavioral Medicine, the Harvard University Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, and the National Association of Government Communicators for its effectiveness in fostering healthy environments and behaviors. He has published and presented extensively on policy and systems approaches to chronic disease prevention.
Giridhar earned his AB in Biology from Brown University, graduated from the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, and completed a residency in Family and Community Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. Following residency, he was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania where he received an MS in Health Policy Research.
Born in Delaware County, Pa., he and his wife reside in Philadelphia. He enjoys reading fiction and nonfiction, especially in The New Yorker magazine, and cooking meals, preferably ones with lots of spice.