Jean O’Connor



Jean C. O’Connor has worked at the intersection of health improvement, policy change, and community for nearly 20 years. She is currently working on local and global initiatives to prevent chronic disease and address the social determinants of health. 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.

She is skilled at government relations, public communications, strategic planning, and community engagement. She also has experience in and a deep understanding of research environments. Previously she worked at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and served as an advisor a Georgia governor. Since 2003, she also has been training the next generation of leaders in methods for advocacy and community policy development at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University.

Jean is committed to community and social impact and serves on a number of state and national boards. She earned her JD and MPH at Emory, and her DrPH in leadership at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  And, she is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.