Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Names Alonzo Plough as Vice President for Research and Evaluation and Chief Science Officer

    • October 15, 2013
Alonzo Plough

Alonzo L. Plough PhD, MPH

Princeton, N.J.—The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) today announced the appointment of Alonzo Plough, PhD, MPH, as Vice President for Research and Evaluation and Chief Science Officer. The appointment will begin January 2014.

RWJF is one of the largest private funders of health and health care research in the nation with the aim of producing evidence that policy-makers and practitioners can use to build a culture of health.

Plough comes to RWJF from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, where he has served as director of emergency preparedness and response since 2009. In that role, Plough is responsible for the leadership and management of the public health preparedness activities protecting the 10 million residents of Los Angeles County from natural disasters and threats related to disease outbreaks and other public health emergencies. He coordinates activities in emergency operations, infectious disease control, risk communication, planning and community engagement.

Prior to this position, Plough served as vice president of strategy, planning and evaluation for The California Endowment from 2005-2009. He was responsible for the leadership of The Endowment’s strategic planning and development, evaluation, research and organizational learning.  Dr. Plough also served 10 years as director and health officer for the Seattle and King County Department of Public Health, and professor of health services at the University of Washington School of Public Health in Seattle. He previously served as director of public health in Boston for eight years.

“One of the cornerstones of RWJF’s mission is the support and evaluation of ground-breaking  research aimed at solving the most pressing health issues facing Americans. We are delighted that Dr. Plough, a true leader in public health, will be joining our team,” said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, MBA, president and CEO of RWJF. “We look forward to his insight into the rapidly changing landscape of data evaluation and the important role he will play as Chief Science Officer advancing RWJF’s commitment to a healthier America.”

Dr. Plough earned his PhD and MA at Cornell University, and his MPH at Yale University School of Medicine’s Department of Epidemiology and Public Health. He did his undergraduate work at St. Olaf College, where he earned a BA. He has held academic appointments at Harvard University School of Public Health, Tufts University Department of Community Medicine, and Boston University School of Management. He has been the recipient of numerous awards for public service and leadership and is the author of an extensive body of scholarly articles, books, and book chapters.

The Foundation’s former Vice President for Research and Evaluation, David C. Colby, PhD, becomes Vice President for Public Policy. Plough will be joined by Brian C. Quinn, PhD, who has been promoted to Assistant Vice President for Research and Evaluation.


The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, measurable, and timely change. For more than 40 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. For more information, visit Follow the Foundation on Twitter or Facebook

Media Contacts

Melissa Blair

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (609) 627-5937