Naima Wong, a researcher with extensive knowledge of community-based participatory research methods with underserved communities, joined the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) in 2012. Citing the Foundation’s leadership on the cutting edge of research in health and health care, she views her role as “helping to understand the evidence and striving to improve the system through a better understanding of what works in public health.” She praises RWJF’s public health commitment for going beyond traditional health systems to reach out to non-health sectors such as education, transportation, justice and labor.
Previously, Wong served as a senior research associate with the Georgia Health Policy Center in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University, where she led an evaluation for Kaiser Permanente’s place-based national cross-site initiative on environment and policy change to promote healthy eating and active living. She also served as a technical assistance consultant to grantees of the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration’s Office of Rural Health Policy. She was also part of a team working with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to design a national framework for implementing health in all policies and co-conducted a rapid health impact assessment.
Wong is a member of the American Public Health Association, the Kellogg Fellows Leadership Alliance, the American Evaluation Association, and AcademyHealth. In 2010, Wong was awarded the Kaiser Permanente Chris Burch Minority Leadership Award. She earned her PhD in Health Behavior and Health Education from the University of Michigan-School of Public Health in 2008, her MPH from the same department in 2002. Her graduate studies were supported by several awards including grants from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation; the Center for Research on Ethnicity, Culture and Health; and the CDC’s Prevention Research Center initiative. She holds a BA in Psychology from Spelman College.
Born in Seattle, she currently lives in Monmouth Junction, N.J. In her leisure time, she enjoys kick boxing, travel, and photography.