Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Names James S. Marks, MD, MPH, as Executive Vice President

    • January 15, 2015
James S. Marks

Princeton, N.J.—The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) today announced that James S. Marks, MD, MPH, has been named Executive Vice President, overseeing all grantmaking, research, and communications activities in support of its vision of building a Culture of Health in America.

RWJF, the nation’s largest foundation devoted to health, is seeking to enable everyone in the United States to live the healthiest life possible, wherever they live, work, learn, or play, by strengthening vulnerable families, ending disparities, catalyzing demand for healthy choices, and ensuring access to affordable, quality care for all.

Marks, formerly senior vice president and director, Program Portfolios for the Foundation, will bring his deep experience of health and health care to bear in achieving these goals. Prior to joining RWJF in 2004, he retired as assistant surgeon general after serving as director of the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion for almost a decade. Throughout his tenure at the CDC, Marks developed and advanced systematic ways to prevent and detect diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes; reduce tobacco use; and address the nation’s growing epidemic of obesity.

“Jim has been a critical member of our leadership team since he arrived, and his contributions will be even more critical going forward as we work to create a healthier society for everyone, no matter where they work, live, or receive care,” said RWJF President and CEO Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, MBA. “His deep commitment and knowledge of health and health care has been an invaluable asset, and will be even more critical as we work to harness our power, share our learnings, and integrate all of our program areas.”

A national leader in public health who has been an advocate of strengthening public health systems and services for more than 35 years, Marks has received numerous federal, state, and private awards, including the U.S. Public Health Service Distinguished Service Award, the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists’ Pump Handle Award, the Association of State and Territorial Chronic Disease Directors’ Award for Excellence, the American Cancer Society’s Distinguished Service Award, and the National Arthritis Foundation’s Special Award of Appreciation. In 2004, he was elected to the Institute of Medicine. He is emeritus board chair of C-Change, whose members are the nation’s key cancer leaders from government, business, and nonprofit sectors. He has published extensively in the areas of maternal and child health, health promotion, and chronic disease prevention, and has served on many government and nonprofit committees devoted to improving the public’s health.

Marks received an MD from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He trained as a pediatrician at the University of California at San Francisco, and was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at Yale University, where he received his Masters of Public Health.

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. We are striving to build a national Culture of Health that will enable all 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