Dr. Richard Besser
President and CEO, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Besser has led the major health philanthropy and research organization since 2017. The foundation, which awarded $610 million in grants in 2022, works in four focus areas, each of which centers on health equity: health systems (including healthcare quality and value, coverage and access, and public and community health); healthy communities; healthy children and families; and leadership for better health. This year, it issued research briefs on adding work requirements to the Medicaid program, maternal and infant health, and burdens facing those trying to obtain behavioral health services. Earlier in his career, Besser was chief health and medical editor for ABC News. Before that, he held leadership positions at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including acting director during the initial response to the H1N1 influenza pandemic.