J. Michael McGinnis joined the Institute of Medicine as Senior Scholar in 2005, to help the IOM explore the development of a program of activity focused on evidence-based medicine and the expansion of clinical effectiveness studies. From 1999 to 2005, he served as Senior Vice President and founding Director of the Health Group, and as Counselor to the President, at The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Much of his career has been spent as participant and leader in national policy in disease prevention and health promotion, including continuous appointment, from 1977 to 1995, as Assistant Surgeon General and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health (Disease Prevention and Health Promotion) through the Carter, Reagan, Bush and Clinton Administrations. During this period, he led the development of Healthy People, the nation's prevention agenda, and the creation of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, a body that has for two decades evaluated the effectiveness of clinical preventive services and pioneered the advance of evidence-based medicine.
Other programs and policies launched at his initiative include: the first HHS/USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans, now in its 5th edition (1st edition co-produced with USDA in 1980) and the first Surgeon General's Report on Nutrition and Health (1988); the work of the Public Health Functions Steering Committee to develop the 10 Essential Services of Public Health; the RWJF Health & Society Scholars Program; the RWJF Young Epidemiology Scholars Program; and the RWJF Active Living family of programs.
His current Board memberships include: the National Academies IOM Committee on Children's Food Marketing (Chair); the NIH State-of-the-Science Conference on Multivitamins in Chronic Disease Prevention (Chair); the Health Professionals Roundtable on Preventive Services (Chair); the FDA Food Advisory Committee, Subcommittee on Nutrition; and the Board of Trustees of the United Way of the National Capital Area (Chair, Resource Development).
Dr. McGinnis' international service includes service as Chair of the World Bank/European Commission Task Force on post-war reconstruction of the health sector in Bosnia in 1995-6; State Coordinator for the World Health Organization smallpox eradication program in Uttar Pradesh, India in 1974-5; and Coordinator for U.S.-Eastern European health programs in 1972-3.
He is an elected member of the IOM, a Fellow of the American College of Epidemiology, and a Fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine. Other recognitions include the Wilbur Cohen Award, the Porter Prize, the National Health Leader of the Year Award, and the Distinguished Service Medal of the U.S. Public Health Service. Dr. McGinnis earned degrees in political science, medicine and public policy from Berkeley, UCLA and Harvard. He was the commencement speaker at each.