Risa Lavizzo-Mourey

Risa Lavizzo-MoureyHonorary Degree Recipient

Doctor of Science

Rutgers is proud to bestow upon Risa Lavizzo-Mourey an honorary doctor of Science degree. Lavizzo-Mourey is the president emerita and former CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), a position she held for nearly 15 years. She was named the RWJF Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor of Population Health and Health Equity at the University of Pennsylvania, with joint appointments in the Perelman School of Medicine, the School of Nursing, and the Wharton School, effective January 1, 2018. 

During her tenure at RWJF, Lavizzo-Mourey spearheaded bold health initiatives such as creating healthier, more equitable communities; strengthening the integration of health systems and services; and ensuring every child in the United States has the opportunity to grow up at a healthy weight. Lavizzo-Mourey’s passion and dedication to these causes served as the groundwork for the foundation’s vision of building a Culture of Health, enabling everyone in America to live longer, healthier lives.

Prior to joining the foundation, Lavizzo-Mourey, a specialist in geriatrics, served as the Sylvan Eisman Professor of Medicine and Health Care Systems at the University of Pennsylvania. She also directed Penn’s Institute on Aging and was chief of geriatric medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine. 

She worked as deputy administrator for the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research under President George H.W. Bush’s administration and continued to direct policy for the subsequent administration, serving as Quality of Care chair for President Bill Clinton’s panels on health care. She has served on numerous federal advisory committees and was appointed by President Barack Obama to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition.

She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and The American Philosophical Society. She currently serves on the Smithsonian Institution Board of Regents, as well as on several other boards of directors. 

Lavizzo-Mourey is the recipient of numerous awards, including honorary doctorates from Colby College and Brown University. Forbes has included her in its list of the 100 most powerful women in the world eight times, and she has been on Modern Healthcare’s 100 most influential people in health care 11 times.

Lavizzo-Mourey earned her medical degree from Harvard Medical School and her master of business administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.