Phyllis M. Wise Elected to Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Board of Trustees

    • January 29, 2014
Headshot of Phyllis M. Wise

Phyllis M. Wise, PhD, Chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Princeton, N.J.—The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) today announced that Phyllis M. Wise, PhD, chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has joined its Board of Trustees. The Board leads the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted to building a national culture of health that strives to enable all Americans to live longer, healthier lives.

As chancellor, Wise serves as the chief executive officer for the flagship campus of the University of Illinois, with more than 42,000 students and 1,800 tenure-track faculty. From 2010 to 2011, Wise was interim president of the University of Washington. Before that she served as provost and executive vice president at the University of Washington for five years.

Wise has been nationally recognized for her administrative leadership as well as her accomplishments as a researcher in women’s health and gender-based biology. A physiologist by training, Wise is best known for her work investigating the influence that hormones have on the brains of women and men during their development, adulthood, and aging.

“Phyllis Wise has a deep respect for the vital role that research and evaluation play in improving the health of the people of our nation, and as an organization that understands how evidence-based information can lead to positive change, we are delighted to welcome her,” said RWJF President and CEO Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD.

Earlier in her higher education career, Wise was dean of the College of Biological Sciences at the University of California-Davis for three years. Prior to that, she was professor and chair of the Department of Physiology at the University of Kentucky in Lexington from 1993 to 2001. Wise also was a faculty member at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, from 1976 to 1993, promoted through the ranks to full professor of physiology in 1987.

Wise is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. She also is a fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College in biology and a doctorate degree in zoology from the University of Michigan.

Additionally, Wise serves on the boards of NIKE, Inc., and the RAND Health Board of Advisors.

“We look forward to working with Dr. Wise,” said Foundation Board Chair Roger Fine, JD, “and we welcome her commitment to RWJF’s vision to create a national culture of health enabling all in our society to lead healthy lives, now and for generations to come.”

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve the health and health care of all Americans. We are striving to build a national culture of health that will enable all Americans to live longer, healthier lives now and for generations to come. For more information, visit Follow the Foundation on Twitter at or on Facebook at

Media Contacts

Melissa Blair

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (609) 627-5937