Princeton, N.J.—The Board of Trustees of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has elected two new Trustees, effective July 27, 2022: Azita Emami, PhD, MSN, BSN, and Jing Wang, PhD, MPH, RN. Both bring a deep commitment to transforming our healthcare systems to ensure they serve our communities, and will provide vital leadership in the Foundation’s pursuit of a Culture of Health.
“RWJF is honored to welcome two nationally recognized champions of health equity and nursing to our Board of Trustees,” said Richard Besser, MD, president and CEO of the Foundation. “Azita Emami is spurring the field of nursing to examine what it takes to address racism in our healthcare systems and deliver care to and engage with all communities. Jing Wang is preparing the next generation of nurses for a digital transformation of healthcare. Their insights and experiences will contribute significantly to the Foundation’s vision of ensuring that everyone in America has a fair and just opportunity for health and wellbeing.”
Board Chair Kathryn S. Fuller, JD, stated: “RWJF Board members look forward to the perspectives our new Trustees will bring to our discussions and the Foundation’s important work. Each brings a deep grounding in healthcare and nursing. Their understanding of the healthcare, community, and digital spaces we need to consider to improve health will inform and enrich our work to foster a Culture of Health for everyone in America.”
About the New Trustees
Azita Emami, PhD, MSN, BSN, RN, FAAN, is a leader in the field of nursing and currently serves as The Robert G. and Jean A. Reid Executive Dean of Nursing at the University of Washington (UW) School of Nursing. In this role, she emphasizes the increasingly global nature of nursing and the importance of educating nurses to deliver care in a wide variety of culturally and economically diverse settings. Under her leadership, the UW School of Nursing announced in February 2021 that it was launching the Center for Antiracism in Nursing. The first of its kind in the nation, the Center will tackle racism in healthcare from classroom to research to the doctor’s office.
"I'm deeply honored to join the board of RWJF at this historic time when the philanthropic sector is recognizing its critical role in advancing the work of racial equity and healing across this nation,” said Emami. “I’m excited to support its efforts to change the way we as a nation view healthcare and to place an emphasis on how historical social and racial dynamics drive determinants of health and well-being today.”
Emami’s academic leadership experience spans two countries and 25 years, including positions as the Dean of the College of Nursing at Seattle University; Head of the Division of Nursing in the Department of Neurobiology Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet; and Academic Leader in the Division of Elder Care in the Department of Nursing at the Karolinska Institutet. Her research has resulted in more than 70 publications in peer reviewed journals nationally and internationally on cross cultural care, elder care, the development of cultural competence, and specific diseases and conditions.
Emami earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the renowned Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, where she grew up after emigrating from Iran. She went on to gain a master’s degree in international healthcare from Karolinska and the Red Cross College of Nursing; a nursing education degree with a teaching certification, and a doctorate in medical sciences from Karolinska. She is a proud recipient of the UW Women’s Center’s Women of Courage award.
Jing Wang, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN, an interdisciplinary trained researcher, educator, and policy and executive leader in nursing and higher education, is dean of the College of Nursing at Florida State University. She is a nationally recognized leader on health equity and digital health, which uses computing platforms, connected devices, software and sensors for healthcare and related uses.
“As a previous RWJF Nurse Faculty Scholar in 2013, the Foundation has played an instrumental role in my career and leadership development,” Wang said. “It’s truly an honor and privilege to serve RWJF as a Trustee, and I look forward to working with RWJF in this pivotal time to advance a Culture of Health for all, where every individual in America has a fair and just opportunity for health and wellbeing.”
Wang is a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, the President of the Asian American/Pacific Islander Nurses Association, and Board of Directors at National Coalition of Ethnic Minority Nurses Association. She is also in the National Institute of Nursing Research Council Working Group on Diversity, AARP/RWJF Future of Nursing Campaign for Action’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Steering Committee, and a National Academy of Medicine Emerging Leader in Health and Medicine.
On the health policy front, as a Health and Aging Policy Fellow and American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow, Wang worked a Senior Scientific Advisor to Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and a senior policy advisor at Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC).
Wang earned her Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing, Master of Science in Nursing, Multidisciplinary Master in Public Health, and Graduate Certificate in Clinical and Translational Science from the University of Pittsburgh. She received her undergraduate degree at Jiangxi Medical College in Nanchang, Jiangxi, P.R. China.