Gillings School Directory

John Wiesman, DrPH, MPH

John Wiesman, DrPH, MPH

Adjunct Assistant Professor
Department of Health Policy and Management
John Wiesman, DrPH, MPH, was appointed secretary of health by Governor Jay Inslee and joined the Department of Health in April 2013. He’s an accomplished transformational leader with more than 22 years of local public health experience and focuses on whole systems approaches to improving health.

John has been passionate about public health since reading a 1983 Time magazine article about disease detectives tracking Legionnaires ’ disease, toxic shock syndrome, and HIV. It was the impetus for him to enter the profession.

He has worked in four local public health departments in Washington and Connecticut and now serves as the Washington State Secretary of Health. He started his public health career in Connecticut in 1986 and was in its first group trained to provide HIV counseling and testing services.

During his career John has:

  • Transformed health departments from providing individual clinical services to implementing policy, system and environmental changes promoting prevention that make healthy choices easier and less expensive.
  • Transformed Clark County Public Health and the Department of Health into first responder organizations.
  • Helped lead Washington State’s initiatives to transform the health delivery system to improve population health, known as Healthier Washington.
Major efforts now underway at the Department of Health under John’s leadership include: End AIDS Washington, developing the Healthiest Next Generation, identifying and funding foundational public health services, implementing the Governor’s executive order reducing suicides and preventing firearm injuries and deaths, and addressing the public health impacts of climate change.

Currently, John serves as an adjunct assistant professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Gillings School of Global Public Health, Health Policy and Management. He also serves as a clinical professor at the University of Washington, School of Public Health, Department of Health Services.

He earned his doctor of public health (DrPH) in public health executive leadership in 2012 from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He received his master of public health (MPH) in chronic disease epidemiology from Yale University in 1987, and his bachelor of arts (BA) in biology from Lawrence University in Wisconsin in 1983.

John was born and raised in Wisconsin. He and his husband have lived in Washington State since 1989.

Representative Courses

HPM 810 - Leadership in Health Law and Ethics


BA, Biology, Lawrence University, 1983

MPH, Chronic Disease Epidemiology, Yale University, 1987

DrPH, Health Policy and Management, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2012

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