Notice: Congratulations to Dr. Wanda Jones, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health
Please join me in congratulating Dr. Wanda K. Jones for being among HHS’s winners of this year’s prestigious Presidential Rank Awards, the U.S. Government’s highest honor bestowed upon Federal Senior Executive or Senior Career employees. The award honors outstanding leaders who consistently demonstrate strength, integrity, industry and a relentless commitment to public service.
Awardees are nominated by their agency heads, evaluated by citizen panels, and designated by the President.
Dr. Jones was appointed HHS Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health in 2009, where her portfolio includes, among other things, oversight of all OASH offices and functions. Before assuming this post, she was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health and Director of the Office on Women’s Health from 1998 to 2009. Earlier, she led the Office of Women's Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
While with the Office on Women’s Health, Dr. Jones led a novel public-private partnership, Text4Baby, through its launch in spring 2010. Text4Baby is a free subscription text messaging service for pregnant women and new mothers (and fathers) that allows subscribers to receive three messages a week − with health tips for baby and mom, reminders for vaccinations or doctors’ visits, and information about no- or low-cost health or family services programs. Text4Baby recently won the inaugural (2010) HHS Secretary’s Award for Innovation − and HHS is taking steps to replicate the model for other health messaging.
Over the years, Dr. Jones has received numerous honors, including the Columbia University Partnership for Women’s Health Athena Award (2001); Assistant Secretary for Health Special Recognition Award for Mentoring (2000, 2001); and the Woman's Day Red Dress Award for women's heart disease awareness (2008). She was also recognized as a Centennial Fellow, Penn State Mont Alto (2004), and received a Secretary’s Award for Distinguished Service for the New Freedom Initiative Team in 2002.
She has served on the Department of Defense’s Sexual Assault Advisory Council since 2007. In 2008, she was named the Designated Federal Officer for the Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Advisory Committee, where she worked with HHS and agency leadership to balance the process of scientific inquiry with urgency, responsiveness, and public transparency. Dr. Jones was recognized in 2010 by Brigadier General Loree Sutton for her contributions to a series of toolkits for healthcare providers who work with returning service members from the Iraq/Afghanistan wars. And in 2008, the Department of State appointed her to serve as the U.S. Principal Delegate to the Inter-American Commission of Women, chartered under the Organization of American States (OAS). She was elected to the Commission’s Executive Committee by OAS Member Nations, ultimately becoming President of the Commission, the organization’s first U.S. President in more than 30 years.
In 2008, Dr. Jones was invited by Mike Wallace to contribute a chapter to his book, “The Way We Will Be 50 Years from Today.” Mr. Wallace asked 60 of the world’s most brilliant thinkers in all fields to share their visions of the next half-century. Dr. Jones’ chapter focused on applying advances in technology, medicine, and public health to ensure that we do not lose the gains in life expectancy achieved over the past 50 years. She identified opportunities to address health risks such as obesity and tobacco use that are the biggest threats to those gains; she foresaw ways to deal more humanely with end-of-life issues; and she encouraged a re-thinking of education, workforce, and leisure opportunities for those reaching the eighth decade and beyond in good health.
Dr. Jones holds a B.S. in Medical Technology from Pennsylvania State University, and MPH and DrPH degrees in Parasitology and Laboratory Practice from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
It is such a privilege to work with someone of Dr. Jones’ caliber.
Howard K. Koh, M.D., M.P.H.
Assistant Secretary for Health