Press Release

For Immediate Release: October 7, 2016

Trust for America’s Health Announces New President and CEO, John Auerbach

Washington, D.C., October 7, 2016–Today, Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) announced the selection of John Auerbach, MBA, as its new President and CEO. 

Auerbach brings more than 35 years of experience as a leader in the public health field – including serving as the Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Health, Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission, and, most recently, Associate Director for Policy and Acting Director of the Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

“John is a true innovator in public health and we cannot be more pleased to have him as the new head of TFAH,” said Gail Christopher, board chair of TFAH and vice president for policy and senior advisor at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. “His work embodies a transformative approach to improving health – thinking beyond medical care to support opportunities for better health in our daily lives. We share a vision where every American has the chance to be as healthy as they can be.”

At CDC, Auerbach has focused on promotion of public health and prevention as components of healthcare and payment reform and health system transformation. He also oversees key activities and technical assistance that support the nation’s health departments and the public health system. 

Previously, he was, from 2012 to 2014, a distinguished professor of practice in health sciences and director of the Institute on Urban Health Research and Practice at Northeastern University.  From 2007 to 2012, he was the commissioner of public health for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Under his leadership, the department developed innovative programs to address racial and ethnic disparities, promote wellness, combat chronic disease, and support the successful implementation of the state’s early healthcare reform initiative.  He served as the President of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) in 2010-2011. 

Prior to that, Auerbach was the executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission for nine years during which health equity, emergency preparedness, and tobacco prevention became priorities. In addition to Boston’s public health programs, he oversaw its emergency medical, homeless, and substance abuse services.  Throughout his tenure as the city commissioner, Auerbach served as a member of the Board of Directors at the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO).

Earlier in his career Auerbach worked at the state health department for a decade, first as chief of staff and later as an assistant commissioner overseeing the HIV/AIDS Bureau during the early years of the epidemic.  He was a founding member and the second president of the National Association of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD).

“I’ve had a lifelong commitment to health and social justice, from the start of my career as a community health worker in one of the earliest community health centers to having the privilege of managing city, state and federal efforts,” said Auerbach.  “We’re in a unique moment to define the next generation of health and healthcare – and I am excited to be joining TFAH and being at the leading edge of efforts to advance the mission of creating a healthier America.”

Auerbach will start in his role January 1, 2017.  TFAH’s previous executive director, Jeffrey Levi, PhD, is now serving as Professor of Health Policy and Management at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University. 

Richard Hamburg, who has been Interim President and CEO at TFAH, will be assuming the position of Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.

Trust for America’s Health is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to saving lives by protecting the health of every community and working to make disease prevention a national priority.



Media Contacts: Albert Lang (202) 864-5941 or or Laura Segal (202) 223-2592 or