Alonzo Plough, PhD, MPH

Vice President for Research and Evaluation
Chief Science Officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Alonzo Plough, PhD, MPH, was appointed Vice President for Research and Evaluation and Chief Science Officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) in January 2014.  RWJF is one of the largest private funders of health and health care research in the nation with the aim of producing evidence that policy-makers
and practitioners can use to build a culture of health. One of the cornerstones of RWJF’s mission is the support and evaluation of ground-breaking research aimed at solving the most pressing health issues facing Americans. Dr. Plough came to RWJF from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, where he served as director of emergency preparedness and response from 2009 to 2014. In that role, he was responsible for the leadership and management of the public health preparedness activities protecting the 10 million residents of Los Angeles County from natural disasters and threats related to disease outbreaks and other public health emergencies. He coordinated activities in emergency operations, infectious disease control, risk communication, planning and community engagement. Prior to that position, Plough served as vice president of strategy, planning and evaluation for The California Endowment from 2005-2009. He was responsible for the leadership of The Endowment’s strategic planning and development, evaluation, research and organizational learning. Dr. Plough also served 10 years as director and health officer for the Seattle and King County Department of Public Health, and professor of health services at the University of Washington School of  Public Health in Seattle. He previously served as director of public health in Boston for eight years. Dr. Plough earned his PhD and MA at Cornell University, and his MPH at Yale University School of Medicine’s Department of Epidemiology and Public Health. He did his undergraduate work at St. Olaf College, where he earned a BA. He has held academic appointments at Harvard University School of Public Health, Tufts University Department of Community Medicine, and Boston University School of Management. He has been the recipient of numerous awards for public service and leadership and is the author of an extensive body of scholarly articles, books, and book chapters.