Jean O’Connor

Health Policy & Management
Adjunct Associate Professor

Curriculum Vitae

Health Policy & Management

Jean C. O’Connor has worked at the intersection of health, policy, and research for nearly 20 years. Over the past year, Jean has been working on the development of global chronic disease prevention efforts with the Task Force for Global Health and Research Triangle Institute. Before that, from 2013 to 2018, Jean served as the chronic disease prevention director and chief public health policy officer for the State of Georgia. In that role, she oversaw a $30 million interdisciplinary organizational unit of 53 staff responsible for leading state and local initiatives related to the social determinants of health and chronic disease in low resource settings. She also was nominated by her peers to serve as the President of the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors.

Earlier in her career she worked at and with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a health scientist leading policy and evaluation activities, and as a health policy advisor a governor. She also has the pleasure of participating in the training of the next generation of health leaders by teaching health policy, law, leadership, and advocacy at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University since 2003 and the University of Georgia since 2018.

Jean is committed to community and social impact and currently serves on a number of state and national boards, including the board of directors for Georgians for a Healthy Future, Heluna Health, and the national American Diabetes Association. She earned her BS in human biology, JD and MPH at Emory, and her DrPH in leadership through the executive program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives and a member of the State Bar of Georgia.

  • DrPH, University of North Carolina –  Chapel Hill
  • JD, Emory University School of Law
  • MPH, Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University
Selected Publications

Allen P, O’Connor JC, Best L, Lakshman M, Jacob R, Brownson RC. Management practices to build evidence-based decision making for chronic disease prevention in Georgia: A case study. Prev Chronic Dis 2018; 15:170482. doi:

Vall EA, Kibbe D, Greene C, Smith K, O’Connor JC. Leading the way in preventing childhood obesity. Public Health Reports. 2017 Nov 132(2):3S-6S.

Ebell M, Marchello C, O’Connor JC. The burden and social determinants of asthma in adults in the State of Georgia. Journal of the Georgia Public Health Association. 2017 Aug; 6(4): 426-434.

Gentili M, Serban N, O’Connor JC, Swann J. Quantifying disparities in accessibility and availability of pediatric primary care across multiple states with implications for targeted interventions. Journal of Health Services Research.2017 [Early view online] doi:10.1111/1475-6773.12722.

Escoffery C, Patterson A, Paris NM, Kirsch L, Frank C, O’Connor JC. Assessment of Distress, Unmet Needs, and Receipt of Care Plans of Cancer Survivors in Georgia. Journal of the Georgia Public Health Association. 2016 December; 6(2), 136-147.

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