Richard Besser, MD, former acting director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and ABC News’ current chief health and medical editor, has been named president and chief executive officer of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the nation’s largest charitable foundation devoted exclusively to health and health care.
Dr. Besser will succeed Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, who has led the $10 billion foundation for the last 14 years. During her tenure, the Foundation has focused its programmatic efforts on broad and important topics such as reducing childhood obesity, promoting health equity, expanding health coverage, and building a Culture of Health in America.
“Richard Besser is a superb choice to lead RWJF into the next stage of our work,” said Roger Fine, chairman of the foundation’s Board. “He is a smart, empathetic leader and communicator—someone who can build on the great energy we have been developing around our Culture of Health vision.”