Dwayne Proctor, PhD, is team director for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Childhood Obesity program management team. He believes that the Foundation’s work presents a unique opportunity to lead the way in fostering a culture of health in America. As the Childhood Obesity team director, Proctor provides leadership for the team and the Foundation’s diverse grantees toward achieving a strategic objective of reversing the childhood obesity epidemic by 2015.
The Foundation’s multidisciplinary program management team concentrates its efforts on reversing the rise in childhood obesity rates by effecting public policies and industry practices that will promote healthy eating and physical activity for children nationwide. With its concentration on reaching children at greatest risk—African American, Hispanic, Native American, and Asian/Pacific Islander children and others living in lower income communities—the childhood obesity team builds evidence on programs that work well, tests innovative approaches, educates leaders, and invests in advocacy strategies. Proctor notes that multiple municipalities and states are reporting signs of progress around the country and that tackling the childhood obesity disparities gap and building demand for needed changes are still a major challenges.
Proctor came to RWJF in 2002 as a senior communications and program officer, working on such child health and risk-prevention initiatives as the Nurse-Family Partnership, Free to Grow, Leadership to Keep Children Alcohol-Free, Partnership for a Drug-free America and the National Campaign to Prevent Teenage Pregnancy. Previously, he served as an assistant professor at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, teaching health communications and health marketing to reach multicultural populations. Prior to that, he was a Fulbright Fellow in Senegal, West Africa, charged with investigating the effectiveness of HIV/AIDS risk messages in raising awareness of AIDS as a national health problem.
Proctor received his doctoral, master’s and bachelor’s degrees in communication science from the University of Connecticut. He enjoys making and playing West African drums and traveling with his family. He and his wife, Laura, live in Princeton Junction, N.J. They have two children.