Richard E. Besser

President & Chief Executive Officer at The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Richard E. Besser

Richard E. Besser

President & Chief Executive Officer at The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Career Highlights

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

RelSci Relationships


Number of Boards


Number of Awards


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Chief Nursing Officer, Health System Chief Nursing Executive, Senior Vice President of Nursing & Director of Nursing Research, James R. Klinenberg, MD & Lynn Klinenberg Linkin Chair in Nursing in Honor of Linda Burnes Bolton at Cedars Sinai Health System

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Director, Facilities Management at The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

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President at University of Miami

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Penn Integrates Knowledge Professor of Population Health & Health Equity at University of Pennsylvania - School of Nursing

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Co-Founder at Anastasia Marie Laboratories, Inc.

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Managing Partner at Doyle Property Partners

Relationship likelihood: Strong

Former President at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Relationship likelihood: Strong

Former President & Chief Executive Officer at Group Health Cooperative, Inc.

Relationship likelihood: Strong

Former Chief Investment Officer at The Prudential Insurance Company of America, Inc.

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Professor Emeritus, Department of Medicine-Renal MEd Diseases/Hypertension at The University of Colorado School of Medicine

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Richard E. Besser
President & Chief Executive Officer at The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Bachelor of Arts in Economics

Williams College is a private liberal arts college located in Williamstown, Massachusetts, United States. It was established in 1793 with funds from the estate of Ephraim Williams. Originally a men's college, Williams became co-educational in 1970. It is located in Williamstown, MA, USA.


The University of Pennsylvania is the oldest and one of the finest medical schools in the United States. Penn is rich in tradition and heritage and at the same time consistently at the forefront of new developments and innovations in medical education and research. Since its founding in 1765 the School has been a strong presence in the community and prides itself on educating the leaders of tomorrow in patient care, biomedical research, and medical education. At Penn academic excellence, as well as compassion for the patients we are privileged to serve, are stressed. Skillful compassion is truly a hallmark of the Penn learning experience. The Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania consistently ranks among the top five in US News and World Report’s rankings of research-oriented medical schools.


National Academy of Medicine. Founded in 1970 as the Institute of Medicine (IOM), the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) is one of three academies that make up the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (the National Academies) in the United States. Operating under the 1863 Congressional charter of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academies are private, nonprofit institutions that work outside of government to provide objective advice on matters of science, technology, and health.

Career History
President & Chief Executive Officer
2017 - Current

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's (RWJ) investments were held mainly in the common shares of Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) for many years. Over the years, the foundation has substantially diversified their portfolio. While they continue to hold shares in Johnson & Johnson, most of their investments are in global equities, followed by alternative investments/limited partnerships and fixed income securities. RWJ avoids investments in companies whose products may conflict with their health and health care mission, particularly those whose business is predominantly related to the manufacture or sale of tobacco, alcohol or firearms. Investments include small-cap and mid-cap public equity; comingled funds (hedge funds, equity-oriented funds, fixed income funds and public equity mid-cap funds); derivatives (credit default swaps, forward exchanges, futures, interest rate swaps and options); drawdown investments (below investment grade credit, private equity and real assets); MBS; preferred securities (credit); publicly-traded partnerships; US Government and agency bonds; and cash & cash held as collateral.

Director, Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness & Emergency Response

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention operates as a government health center. It helps to prevent and control infectious and chronic diseases, injuries, workplace hazards, disabilities and environmental health threats. It conducts research and investigations for its action oriented approach. The company was founded on July 1, 1946 and is located in Atlanta, GA.

Chief Health & Medical Editor
2009 - 2017

ABC News is the news division of the American Broadcasting Company (ABC), owned by the Disney Media Networks division of the Walt Disney Company. Its flagship program is the daily evening newscast ABC World News Tonight; other programs include morning news-talk show Good Morning America, newsmagazine series Nightline, Primetime and 20/20, and Sunday morning political affairs program This Week with George Stephanopoulos.

Awards & Honors
Overseas Press Club Award
Aspen, CO, United States
2011 Aspen Ideas Festival

Entering its seventh year, the Aspen Ideas Festival gathered some of the most interesting thinkers and leaders from around the US and abroad to discuss their work, the issues that inspire them, and their ideas. Presented by the Aspen Institute and The Atlantic, the Festival is unique in its dedication to dialogue and exchange, and in its commitment to bringing ideas to the public at large. is pleased to present Festival programs taking place at the Aspen Institute's Paepcke Auditorium.

Aspen, CO, United States
2010 Aspen Ideas Festival

Aspen Ideas Festival, presented by the Aspen Institute and The Atlantic, continues to broaden its reach and engage with more people than ever before on ideas that matter. A major focus throughout the Festival, which opens today, is increasing live and on-demand video opportunities for online viewers around the world.

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