James S. Marks, MD, MPH, executive vice president, oversees all program, communications, research, and policy activities in support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s vision to build a Culture of Health in America. Marks joined the Foundation in 2004 and was formerly the senior vice president and director of program portfolios. His areas of responsibility have included strengthening vulnerable families, catalyzing demand for healthy places and practices, bridging health and health care, disparity reduction, childhood obesity, and New Jersey-focused programming.
Prior to joining RWJF, Marks served as assistant surgeon general and director of the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Throughout his tenure at 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.
A national leader in public health for more than 35 years, Marks has received numerous federal, state, and private awards from organizations such as the American Cancer Society, National Arthritis Foundation, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists, Association of State and Territorial Chronic Disease Directors, and U.S. Public Health Service. He was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies in recognition of his accomplishments in epidemiology and public health. He has served on many governmental and nonprofit committees, including the Executive Board of the American Public Health Association. 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
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 MPH. He and his wife, Judi, a retired high school guidance counselor, live in Princeton and have two children, both pursuing careers in medicine.