Alumnus Wiesman appointed as Washington State Health Secretary

March 14, 2013
Dr. John Wiesman

Dr. John Wiesman

John Wiesman, DrPH, Gillings School of Global Public Health alumnus, has been appointed to serve as Washington state’s Secretary of Health. Gov. Jay Inslee made the announcement on March 12.

Wiesman received his doctorate in December 2012 in the Department of Health Policy and Management’s Executive Doctoral Program in Health Leadership. He previously had served as public health director for Clark County (Wash.) and is now president of the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO). He has more than 25 years’ experience in public health, particularly in HIV/AIDS-related issues.

“Our health officials do so much behind the scenes to keep our communities and families healthy and safe,” Gov. Inslee said. “John’s leadership will be essential to continuing and building upon the good work [that has been] accomplished these past years.”

Inslee said Wiesman’s work in the AIDS community allowed him a unique perspective and an understanding of how human services and health care work together.

“John has terrific public health experiences and leadership skills that will serve him well as secretary of health,” said retiring health secretary Mary Selecky. “He has led through crises, dealt with budget reductions and worked for numerous elected officials. We are well positioned to continue our public health work and take on new challenges under John’s leadership.”

“John is a natural leader,” said Suzanne Hobbs, DrPH, clinical associate professor and director of UNC’s doctoral program in health leadership. “He will do a great job for the state of Washington.”



Gillings School of Global Public Health contact: David Pesci, director of communications, (919) 962-2600 or