Board of Directors
Leon T Andrews, Jr.
Leon Andrews is Director of the Race, Equity and Leadership (REAL) initiative at National League of Cities. Prior to joining the NLC he was a fellow at the Forum for Youth Investment, where he coordinated a multistate youth policy and engagement initiative. He also serves on the boards of the National Recreation and Parks Association, the Youth Planners Network, Healthy Kids Healthy Schools, and the Safe Routes to School National Review Group. He is currently a PhD candidate at the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and holds a master’s in public policy and management from Carnegie Mellon University.
Oxiris Barbot, MD
Dr. Oxiris Barbot is First Deputy Commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the largest health department in the nation. Dr. Barbot oversees a diverse portfolio that encompasses health equity, health policy, and operations. She leads development and implementation of agency priorities and citywide interagency initiatives. She spearheaded the creation of the Center for Health Equity, which operationalizes the Department’s commitment to racial justice, meaningful community engagement, and internal reform. She also led development of Take Care New York 2020, the city’s data-driven health agenda, which focuses explicitly on health equity and the social determinants of health. Prior to returning to New York City, Dr. Barbot served as Commissioner of Health for Baltimore City from 2010 to 2014. Under her leadership, the city launched Healthy Baltimore 2015, a comprehensive health policy agenda. While in Baltimore, Dr. Barbot introduced a health in all policies approach to city government, and chaired the Mayor’s Cross-Agency Health Task Force. Dr. Barbot has also served as Medical Director for the New York City Public School System and Chief of Pediatrics and Community Medicine at Unity Health Care, Inc., in Washington, DC. Dr. Barbot holds a BA from Yale University and an MD from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. She completed her pediatric residency at George Washington University’s Children’s National Medical Center.
Adolph P. Falcón, MPP
Adolph Falcón is the Executive Vice President of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health. He provides leadership and management for the Alliance’s program, science, and policy portfolios. He also serves as Director of the Alliance’s Healthy Americas Institute at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine. He is the principal investigator of Nuestros Tesoros (Our Treasures), funded by the Kresge Foundation, which works to support the sustainability of Hispanic-serving multi-service organizations. A nationally recognized expert on Hispanic health policy, Falcón played a leading role in the landmark Disadvantaged Minority Health Improvement Act of 1990. Most recently, he has been active in the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Tax Act, the Personal Care Products Safety Act, and regulatory efforts to improve quality of care. He previously served as principal investigator for initiatives funded by the Atlantic Philanthropies, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Food and Drug Administration, and National Institutes of Health, among others. Falcón holds a BA from Yale University and an MPP from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Rayid Ghani, MS
Rayid Ghani is a senior fellow and research faculty member at the University of Chicago’s Computation Institute and Harris School of Public Policy. Rayid directs the Center for Data Science and Public Policy and focuses on developing and applying data science methods to improve how governments and nonprofits make policy decisions. He is also the co-founder of Edgeflip, an analytics and technology startup focused on helping social causes better use social networks and social media for advocacy, fundraising, and related functions. Prior to joining the University of Chicago, Rayid was the Chief Scientist for the 2012 Obama Re-election Campaign. Before that, Rayid led the Analytics Research Group at Accenture Technology Labs, developing and applying machine learning and data science to large-scale business problems. Rayid received his graduate degree in Machine Learning from Carnegie Mellon University and his undergraduate degrees in Computer Science and Mathematics from the Sewanee - University of the South.
Stephanie Mayfield Gibson, MD
Dr. Stephanie Mayfield Gibson is an experienced health executive who served in the private and public health sectors in Kentucky for over 20 years. Dr. Mayfield Gibson was the first African American and first woman commissioner of health for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. She was responsible for expanding Kentucky’s newborn screening naming Kentucky with the highest incidence in the world for a specific metabolic disorder leading to international presentations. As commissioner and state health official, she was a member of the Governor's executive team to expand Medicaid and reduced uninsured rates more than all other states that expanded Medicaid; and co-chairing the state’s first health in all policy, which focused on clinical, social, and environmental health. Most recently, she led the transformation of the largest health care system in Kentucky to address basic human needs across the total continuum of health as the senior vice president for Population Health, KentuckyOne Health and chief medical officer for KentuckyOne Health Partners. While at KentuckyOne Health, Dr. Mayfield Gibson established multi sector communities of practice to promote the role of health systems as anchor institutions to build resilient healthy communities. She also chaired the total roadmap to health transformation across 18 states for Catholic Health Initiatives in collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Stephanie serves on the board of directors for Trust for America's Health and is a population health consultant. A board-certified anatomic and clinical pathologist, Dr. Mayfield Gibson’s background includes work in public health, health care, science, education, and private enterprise. She holds an MD from Meharry Medical College; medical residency training from University of Louisville; and graduate executive education from Harvard University.
Darlene Oliver Hightower, JD
Darlene Oliver Hightower is associate vice president for community engagement and practice at Rush University Medical Center (RUMC), where she manages implementation and evaluation of community programs aimed to improve health in RUMC’s community areas, partnering with interdisciplinary teams to address health inequities and oversee community- and school-based clinics and community outreach programs. Prior to joining RUMC, Darlene was executive director for Public Allies Chicago and national vice president of programs for Public Allies, Inc., where she oversaw an $8 million federal AmeriCorps grant that funded Public Allies’ signature national service apprenticeship program. As associate director for the Metropolitan Chicago Breast Cancer Task Force, Darlene worked to address health disparities in breast cancer outcomes for African American women in Chicago and raised more than $1 million in funding. Before working in the nonprofit sector, Darlene was a partner in a law firm handling civil rights litigation, and in 2008 she was appointed as an administrative law judge with the Chicago Commission on Human Relations. The Chicago Community Trust selected Darlene as a 2012 Emerging Leadership Fellow, and in 2015 she was selected as a fellow of the University of Chicago’s inaugural Civic Leadership Academy. Darlene holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology (with high honors) from Bradley University and a law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center.
Barbara Masters, MA
Barbara Masters is an independent consultant with more than 25 years of experience in health policy, working in philanthropy and local government as well as on Capitol Hill. During her tenure at The California Endowment, she led efforts to develop advocacy training and capacity-building programs, and effective methods to evaluate policy change activities. She served as vice president of the California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems (CAPH), and directed intergovernmental relations for the Los Angeles County Department of Health. She began her career in health policy as a legislative assistant for Senator Alan Cranston (D-CA). She holds a BA with honors from the University of California, Berkeley; an MA in biology from the University of Colorado, Boulder; and graduate certification from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Dayna Bowen Matthew, JD
Dayna Bowen Matthew is the William L. Matheson and Robert M. Morgenthau Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Virginia School of Law, with research interests in law and policy related to health care, public health, race, and equal protection. She is a research fellow at the Brookings Institution and at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. In 2015, Professor Matthew was senior advisor to the Director of the EPA’s Office of Civil Rights. As a 2015-2016 Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow, she served on the health policy team for Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan. Prior to joining the University of Virginia, Professor Matthew was a member of the law and public health faculties at the University of Colorado, Boulder, serving as the law school’s associate dean of academic affairs and later as vice dean. She co-founded the Colorado Health Equity Project (CHEP) to form medical-legal partnerships and is continuing this work in Virginia through the Common Grounds Health Equity Project, which works with Legal Aid attorneys, primary care providers, and social workers to serve low-income communities. Professor Matthew is the author of Just Medicine: A Cure for Racial Inequality in American Health Care. She holds an AB in economics from Harvard-Radcliffe and a JD from the University of Virginia.
Michelle Mello, JD, PhD, MPhil
Michelle Mello is a professor of law at Stanford Law School and professor of health research and policy at Stanford University School of Medicine. She conducts empirical research into issues at the intersection of law, ethics, and health policy, and teaches courses in torts and public health law. She is the author of more than 150 articles and book chapters on the medical malpractice system, medical errors and patient safety, public health law, research ethics, the obesity epidemic, pharmaceuticals, and other topics. From 2000 to 2014, Dr. Mello was a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, where she directed the school’s Program in Law and Public Health. From 2013 to 2014, she completed a Lab Fellowship at Harvard University’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics. In 2013, she was elected to the National Academy of Medicine (formerly known as the Institute of Medicine). Dr. Mello holds a JD from Yale Law School and a PhD in health policy and administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She also holds an MPhil from Oxford University, where she was a Marshall Scholar, as well as a BA from Stanford University.
Marc A. Nivet, EdD, MBA
Marc A. Nivet is the executive vice president for institutional advancement at UT Southwestern Medical Center. In this capacity, he provides strategic vision and oversight for the areas of development, communications, marketing and public affairs, government affairs, and community and corporate relations. Prior to his role at UT Southwestern, Dr. Nivet served as a member of the executive leadership team of the Association of American Medical Colleges, where he provided leadership on issues surrounding community engagement, diversity, and health equity at medical schools and teaching hospitals across the United States and Canada. Prior to joining the AAMC, Dr. Nivet served as the COO and treasurer for the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation, which fosters innovation in health professional education that aligns workforce training with the dynamic needs of patients. Dr. Nivet has spent more than 20 years in academic medicine developing creative program initiatives and innovative approaches to advance the mission of excellence in research, education, and patient care. He earned his doctorate in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania and his MBA with a focus on health care management from George Washington University’s School of Business.
Elizabeth Sobel Blum, MBA, MA
Elizabeth Sobel Blum, senior community development advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, leads the Dallas Fed’s work in “healthy communities”—those in which individuals and their communities are vibrant, thrive, and show resilience. Through research, publications, events, and coalition building, Sobel Blum helps advance discussion about creating and supporting healthy opportunities for all so that healthy becomes the norm. Sobel Blum’s areas of focus include community development finance, health, housing, small business and entrepreneurship, and workforce development. From January 2013 through December 2014, Sobel Blum chaired the University of North Texas Health Science Center’s (UNTHSC) Community Advisory Board. In May 2014, she completed the Steps Toward Academic Research (STAR) Fellowship Program, which is run by the UNTHSC’s Texas Center for Health Disparities, a National Institutes of Health-designated Center for Excellence. She earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Dallas, an MA from American University, and a BA from Northwestern University.
Stephen D. Sugarman, JD
Stephen D. Sugarman, JD, is a Roger J. Traynor Professor of Law at the University of California at Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall), where he has also served as associate dean. He has been a visiting professor at the London School of Economics; University College, London; the University of Paris; the European University Institute, Florence; Kobe University Faculty of Law; Kyoto University Faculty of Law; and Columbia University School of Law. He has also served as acting director of the New York State Commission on the Cost, Quality, and Financing of Education. He holds a BS with highest distinction in business administration from Northwest University, and a JD summa cum laude from Northwestern University School of Law.
Susana Vasquez, MA
Susana L. Vasquez is associate vice president in the Office of Civic Engagement at the University of Chicago. She previously was vice president for strategic partnerships at IFF, a regional community development institution, where she developed program strategies to build nonprofit capacity and identified capital and grant opportunities to advance IFF’s mission. Prior to joining IFF, Ms. Vasquez served as executive director of the Chicago office of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). During her 12-year tenure at LISC, Vasquez helped raise $100 million in grant and loan commitments from private and public sources and developed innovative programs to advance neighborhood development, civic technology, health, and education efforts across Chicago. She has also worked for The Resurrection Project, a community development organization, and for the Metropolitan Tenants Organization. Ms. Vasquez has provided community engagement training to a range of institutions, including Studio Gang Architects, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, and Presence Health. She earned a master's degree in public administration from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and holds a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Edward F. West, MA
Edward F. West is a cofounder and managing director of Sage Partners LLC, where he works with founders of new ventures to lead, structure, finance, and launch businesses in the global software, internet services, and information services industries. He served in the public sector as a congressional intern for U.S. Senator H. John Heinz III, working in areas of energy, environments, business, trade, and tax policy; and as a transportation and urban planner at the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission in Philadelphia. He holds an AB from Princeton University and an MBA in general management from the Harvard Business School.