Nutrition Policy Expert Y. Claire Wang Named Health Policy Fellow at Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

July 14, 2015

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation selected Y. Claire Wang, MD, ScD, of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, as a Health Policy Fellow for 2015-2016. Dr. Wang is associate professor of Health Policy and Management and co-directs the Mailman School’s Obesity Prevention Initiative, a cross-disciplinary team focusing on environmental and policy approaches to obesity. She is also the faculty director of the Comparative Effectiveness and Outcomes Research MPH certificate program. Established in 1973 and administered by the Institute of Medicine, the Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellows program is among the most prestigious in health science and public policy.

Beginning in September, Dr. Wang will spend a year in Washington D.C. working at the nexus of health science, policy, and politics and actively participating in health policy formation at the federal level by working closely with members of Congress and the executive branch. Dr. Wang was selected in the national competition for this fellowship because of her expertise and professional achievements and potential for leadership in health policy.

In her scholarship, Dr. Wang focuses on developing and evaluating policies to promote healthy choices and to address the obesity epidemic in adults and in children. She has evaluated several state and city-level policies such as a penny-an-ounce excise tax on soda and portion size cap on sugary drinks served in restaurants. Her current research assesses the cost-effectiveness of broad-reaching policy strategies to improve dietary choices, especially among school children and individuals who are food insecure. In 2012, she won the American Journal of Preventive Medicine Childhood Obesity Challenge for creating the Caloric Calculator (, an online interactive tool to help policymakers, school administrators, and others assess the potential impact of health policy choices on childhood obesity.

Dr. Wang is an elected Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine and also serves on the advisory committee of AGree, a cross-sector initiative funded by nine of the world’s leading foundations to drive positive, transformative change in the food and agriculture system. She obtained her medical degree from National Taiwan University and her doctorate from Harvard School of Public Health.

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. We are striving to build a national Culture of Health that will enable all to live longer, healthier lives now and for generations to come. For more information, visit Follow the Foundation on Twitter at or on Facebook.

About Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health

Founded in 1922, Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health pursues an agenda of research, education, and service to address the critical and complex public health issues affecting New Yorkers, the nation and the world. The Mailman School is the third largest recipient of NIH grants among schools of public health. Its over 450 multi-disciplinary faculty members work in more than 100 countries around the world, addressing such issues as preventing infectious and chronic diseases, environmental health, maternal and child health, health policy, climate change & health, and public health preparedness. It is a leader in public health education with over 1,300 graduate students from more than 40 nations pursuing a variety of master’s and doctoral degree programs. The Mailman School is also home to numerous world-renowned research centers including ICAP (formerly the International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs) and the Center for Infection and Immunity. For more information, please visit