About the Trust

Trust for America's Health Board of Directors

Gail C. Christopher, DN, Chair of the Board

Dr. Christopher is currently vice president for policy and senior advisor at the WK Kellogg Foundation. She was previously vice president of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies' Office of Health, Women and Families in Washington, D.C. She directed the Joint Center Health Policy Institute, a multi-year initiative created to engage underserved, racial, and ethnic minorities in health policy discussions. Prior to that, she was guest scholar in the Governance Studies Department at The Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., and executive director of the Institute for Government Innovation at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In addition, Christopher served as director and naprapathic physician with the Naprapathic Health Centers in Chicago, Illinois. Christopher took her doctor of naprapathy degree from the Chicago National College of Naprapathy in Illinois and completed advanced study in the interdisciplinary Ph.D. program in holistic health and clinical nutrition at the Union for Experimenting Colleges and Universities at Union Graduate School of Cincinnati, Ohio. Dr. Christopher received a 2007 Leadership Award from the Health Brain Trust of the Congressional Black Caucus, for her work with Health Policy Institute of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies and its impact on public policies to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities. She has authored and co-authored three books, a monthly column in the Federal Times, and has written more than 250 articles, presentations, and publications. Her list of national broadcast and print media credits is also extensive.

David Fleming, MD

Dr. Fleming is Vice President for PATH, overseeing its global public health portfolio including programs in reproductive health, maternal and child health, nutrition, non-communicable diseases, HIV, tuberculosis and malaria.

Dr. Fleming came to PATH from the Seattle and King County public health department in Washington State where he served as Director and Health Officer and oversaw all elements of the Department’s operations.  Prior to joining the Seattle & King County Department of Public Health, Dr. Fleming directed the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's Global Health Strategies program. His work at Gates focused on vaccine-preventable diseases, nutrition, maternal and child health, community-based solutions, leadership and emergency relief.

Dr. Fleming previously served at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). From 2000 to 2003, Dr. Fleming was Deputy Director for Science and Public Health, and, in 2002, was Acting Director of the agency. While at CDC, Dr. Fleming provided oversight of the agency's global health portfolio, including HIV/AIDS prevention, polio eradication, global tobacco prevention and funding for global immunizations.

Before joining CDC, Dr. Fleming worked at the Oregon Health Division as State Epidemiologist. He also has served as President of the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologist and on numerous Institute of Medicine, federal, and global health advisory committees. Dr. Fleming has a BS and an MD from the State University of New York.

Cynthia M. Harris, PhD, DABT, Vice Chair

Dr. Cynthia M. Harris is the Director of the Institute of Public Health and Professor at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida. She received her Ph.D. in the biomedical sciences from Meharry Medical College with concentration in the areas of nutritional biochemistry and toxicology. Previous to her appointment at Florida A&M, Dr. Harris served as a staff toxicologist and branch chief with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, a sister agency of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in Atlanta, Georgia.

Dr. Harris has served on numerous committees and panels, which includes membership on the Board of Directors for the Florida Public Health Association, Chair of the Florida Public Health Partnership Council on Stroke, member of the Pregnancy Mortality Review Board, member of the Florida Sickle Cell Task Force, member of the American Public Health Association, member of the editorial board of the Harvard Journal of Public Health, reviewer for the Journal of Environmental Health, and board member for the Panhandle Chapter of the Florida March of Dimes.

Robert T. Harris, MD, Treasurer

Dr. Harris is medical director at the North Carolina Medicaid Support Services, CSC, Inc. and brings to the Board many years' experience in health care administration and clinical medicine, as a primary care physician. He has served at the senior management level at several health insurance companies and managed care companies. Most recently, he was chief medical officer and senior vice president for Healthcare at Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, where he launched nationally acclaimed initiatives addressing obesity/childhood obesity, smoking/second hand smoke, immunization promotion, and affordable outpatient drugs with no-copay generics. Dr. Harris is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and a Fellow of the American College of Physician Executives. Presently he is the medical director for CSC, Inc., in its contract with the North Carolina Dept. of Health and Human Services and its Medicaid operations.  In addition to serving on the TFAH Board he serves on the board of a privately-held clinical laboratory company and on the board of a community theatre in Raleigh, NC.

Dr. Harris is a graduate of Duke University (B.S), Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health (M.H.S.), and Emory University School of Medicine (M.D.).

Dr. Octavio N. Martinez, Jr., MD, MPH, MBA, FAPA 

Dr. Octavio N. Martinez, Jr., M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., F.A.P.A., is executive director of the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health at The University of Texas at Austin.  The foundation’s grants and programs support mental health services, research, policy analysis and public education projects in Texas.  As executive director, he oversees the vision, mission, goals, strategic planning and day-to-day operations of the foundation.  The Hogg Foundation is part of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at The University of Texas at Austin.  Dr. Martinez holds an appointment of Associate Vice-President within the division.  He is also a clinical professor with an appointment in the university’s School of Social Work; and holds an adjunct professor appointment at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry.  His academic interests include minority health, health disparities, and workforce issues.

Dr. Martinez has a master’s degree in public health from Harvard University’s School of Public Health, a doctor’s degree in medicine from Baylor College of Medicine, and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in business administration with a concentration in finance from The University of Texas at Austin.  He was Chief Resident during his psychiatric training at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and is an alumnus of The Commonwealth Fund/Harvard University Fellowship in Minority Health Policy at Harvard Medical School.

C. Kent McGuire, PhD

Dr. McGuire is the President and CEO of the Southern Education Foundation in Atlanta, Georgia. The Foundation focuses on public policy and educational practice from pre-K to higher education in the southern United States. Through a variety of programs and services, SEF has been particularly concerned with questions of equal access to quality education for children and youth and to the participation and success of poor and minority students in postsecondary education.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Dr. McGuire served as Dean of the College of Education and a Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Temple University. Prior to this, he held positions as Senior Vice President at MDRC, Assistant Secretary of Education during the Clinton administration, Education Program Officer for the Philadelphia-based Pew Charitable Trusts and the Education Program Director for the Eli Lilly Endowment.

Dr. McGuire received his doctorate in public administration from the University of Colorado, his master's degree in education administration and policy from Columbia University Teacher's College, and his bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Michigan.

Eduardo J. Sanchez, MD, MPH

Dr. Sanchez serves as Chief Medical Officer for Prevention for the American Heart Association. Formerly, Dr. Sanchez served as Vice President and the Chief Medical Officer for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas.  Prior to joining Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, he served as Director of the Institute for Health Policy at The University of Texas (UT) School of Public Health. Dr. Sanchez served as Commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services from 2004 to 2006 and the Texas Department of Health from 2001 to 2004.  He served as the city/county local health officer and Chief Medical Officer for the Austin-Travis County Health and Human Services Department from 1994 to 1998.

Dr. Sanchez received his M.D. in 1988 from the UT Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. He holds an M.P.H. from the UT School of Public Health; an M.S. in biomedical engineering from Duke University, and a B.S. in biomedical engineering and B.A. in chemistry from Boston University. Dr. Sanchez is chairing the Advisory Committee to the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and is Chair of the National Commission on Prevention Priorities (NCPP), which has ranked clinical preventive services and is doing work to evaluate community preventive services. Dr. Sanchez served on the IOM Committee on Progress in Preventing Childhood Obesity and is currently serving on the IOM Standing Committee on Childhood Obesity. He recently chaired the IOM Committee on Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity and co-chaired the National Governors' Association Shaping a Healthier Generation Advisory.

Theo Spencer, Secretary

Theo Spencer is a senior advocate, Climate Center, with the Natural Resources Defense Council working on global climate change issues. He earned his B.A. from Middlebury College and a Masters in Journalism from the University of California, Berkeley. Mr. Spencer has extensive experience as a journalist, working previously as a reporter with Fortune Magazine, New York Newsday, the Albuquerque Tribune and the Stamford Advocate. He has written numerous freelance articles for national publications such as the New York Times Magazine, New York Magazine and Art Forum.

Mr. Spencer serves on the Board of Directors for the Benjamin Spencer Fund, Environmental Advocates, and as Vice President of the Rockefeller Family Fund.

Governor Lowell Weicker, Jr., Founding President (2001-2011)

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