Renowned Obesity Expert, William H. Dietz, MD, Ph.D., to Assume Role of STOP Obesity Alliance Director

June 25, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Obesity expert William H. Dietz, MD, Ph.D., has been named Director of the Strategies to Overcome and Prevent (STOP) Obesity Alliance, a national multi-stakeholder coalition based within Milken Institute School of Public Health (Milken Institute SPH) at the George Washington University.  This leadership transition comes as part of Dr. Dietz’s recent transition to Milken Institute SPH, where he heads the Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness.

“We are delighted that Dr. Dietz will take the helm as director,” said Scott Kahan, MD, MPH, who currently serves as STOP’s Director.  “He will strengthen the capability of the STOP leadership team, allowing us to broaden our horizons as we continue to identify gaps in obesity issues and work to create solutions to help prevent them.”

Dr. Kahan will remain an integral part of the STOP team and reassume his prior role as the organization’s Clinical Advisor, providing counsel for the Alliance’s health research initiatives including the work on STOP’s health care provider tool, currently in development and expected to launch later this year.  Founding Director Christine Ferguson, JD, also continues in her role as Strategic Initiatives Advisor, providing insights to help inform STOP’s work.

“Since STOP’s inception, Bill has been dedicated to our work as one of the founding Steering Committee members. We are fortunate the coalition can further benefit from his extensive knowledge and large breadth of obesity experience,” said Ferguson.

From 1997-2012, Dr. Dietz directed the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, GA. After leaving the CDC, he served as consultant to the Institute of Medicine and a senior advisor to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to focus on solutions to the obesity epidemic. Dr. Dietz is a pediatrician with a portfolio that includes more than 200 published research papers in scientific journals.   He is also a member of the Institute of Medicine and has served on numerous advisory boards.  Dr. Dietz participated in the creation of the landmark 1998 Clinical Guidelines on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity that re-classified many “normal weight” Americans as overweight.

“I’m looking forward to leading the Alliance,” Dr. Dietz said.  “The coalition has made great strides over the past seven years to change the conversation in America about overweight, obesity and weight-related health risks through its multi-pronged approach to address the issue,” Dietz said. “With our members and work in the area, I believe we will achieve a healthier future.”