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Mary A. Pittman, DrPH, is chief executive officer and president of the Oakland-based Public Health Institute (PHI), one of the country’s largest independent non-profit public health organizations. She has been a recognized leader in community health, providing care for vulnerable populations, addressing health inequities and strengthening the public health workforce. Her experience in public health and healthcare settings has made her an adviser in the field of population health and a leader in efforts to re-envision how diverse stakeholders can work together and use data for healthier communities, safer hospitals and public health systems.

Under her leadership, PHI has expanded its global workforce and portfolio, focused on gender and racial equity and inclusion, increased its policy and advocacy work, strengthened its research portfolio, launched a Population Health Innovation Lab providing technical assistance, expanded support of cancer research and children’s cancer clinical trials and deepened organizational focus using a health equity lens to build power and engage communities in addressing disparities. In partnership with Kaiser Permanente and philanthropies, PHI has been instrumental in building an agile and diverse workforce for COVID-19, supporting CBOs, local public health agencies, and schools, to respond to COVID and other health issues. International work on COVID focused on building partnerships, technical assistance and specialized services to bolster epidemiology, surveillance, and clinical training. The organization was nationally recognized for its ability to address community-level needs in COVID.

During her tenure, PHI has been recognized each of the four times it applied as one of the 50 best nonprofit places to work in the nation. She was named as one of the NonProfit Times Top 50 Power & Influence Leaders for 2023, for her innovation, impact, influence and leadership in responding to change and challenges facing the nonprofit sector. Mary received multiple recognitions from Modern Healthcare for her contributions to health and public health including in 2023, Top Women Leaders: Luminaries; in 2022, Top 25 Women; and, in 2021, Top 25 Women Leaders and 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare.


Recent Highlights

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Mary Pittman Recognized in NonProfit Times as Top 50 Executive

PHI President and CEO Mary Pittman was named as one of the NonProfit Times Top 50 Power & Influence Leaders for 2023. Pittman was recognized for her innovation, impact, influence and leadership in responding to change and challenges facing the nonprofit sector over the past year. Read more.

Mary A Pittman receiving Top Women Luminary 2023 award
Dr. Mary Pittman Named Top 25 Women Leader Luminary by Modern Healthcare

In 2023, Mary A. Pittman was recognized by Modern Healthcare as a “Woman Leaders in Healthcare Luminary,” joining other women executives who are making healthcare and public health organizations more vibrant, financially viable, better at providing patient care and for providing mentorship and sponsorship to the next generation of leaders. Read more and see the press release

Research!America Features Dr. Mary Pittman, "Better Data for More Equitable Public Health Research"

Research is only as good as the data informing it. In 2023, PHI’s President and CEO Dr. Mary Pittman joined Research!America for a webinar discussion about what good data really looks like in the context of public health research; tools and approaches to make data more precise; and how social determinants of health and other community-informed measures provide critical context to make public health data—and the research that comes from it—more meaningful and actionable. Learn more.

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Mary Pittman Recognized as One of the 100 Most Influential People by Modern Healthcare

Mary A. Pittman, DrPH has been recognized by Modern Healthcare as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare for 2021. Mary was chosen for her strategic thinking and leadership of PHI through the COVID-19 pandemic and her long work as an influential voice in public health practice and policy. Read more.

Kaiser's "Public Health and the Delivery System: Vital Connections” features Dr. Mary Pittman

In this Kaiser Permanente’s Institute for Health Policy virtual forum, Dr. Mary Pittman and speakers discuss how to build a stronger system in the future that improves the public’s health in an equitable way, both in emergencies and in the longer term. Watch here.


Sixteen People who changed public health
UC Berkeley’ School of Public Health’s Sixteen Women Who Changed Public Health

Marking 150 Years of Women at the University of California Berkeley, Pittman was featured as one of 16 women for her work in addressing health inequities. Read more.

Pharma VOICE
PharmaVOICE's Top 100 of the Most Inspiring People in Health of 2020

Named as one of the “Top 100 of the Most Inspiring People in Health” by PharmaVOICE magazine, Pittman is recognized as an influential voice in health practice and policy. Learn more.

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A Public Health Expert Says The Pandemic Is The Tip Of The Iceberg When It Comes To Health, Equity, And Social Justice

In Forbes magazine, Mary Pittman talks about her career in public health and what it takes to lead through the current COVID-19 pandemic. Read the article.

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