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Thomas Novotny, MD, MPH, Dsc (Hon)

Tom is a founding member and CEO of CBPP. He brings decades of work on Tobacco Control to the organization and more specifically is focused on the harms of tobacco waste on the environment and our communities. He is currently Emeritus Professor of Global Health in the Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and an Adjunct Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University  of California, San Diego. He is Board Certified in Preventive Medicine and has specialized in health systems development, non-communicable disease control, and health diplomacy.


Prior to his academic career, he was with the U.S. Public Health Service for 23 years, serving as a Family Physician in the National Health Service Corps, as a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer in the Colorado Department of Health, as a Medical Epidemiologist with the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health, as CDC liaison to the UC Berkeley School of Public Health, as CDC liaison to the World Bank, and as Assistant Surgeon General and Deputy Assistant Secretary for International and Refugee Health. At UC Berkeley, he was Professor of Epidemiology and Assistant Dean for Public Health Practice. While with the World Bank, he worked on analyses of the economic aspects of tobacco and health, health systems reform in Eastern Europe, and HIV/AIDS policy. He was an editor and contributor to several Surgeon General’s Reports on the Health Consequences of Smoking, and he has published widely on tobacco and health, HIV in Eastern Europe, and health diplomacy.

From 2002-2008, he was a Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, where he developed curriculum in global health, health diplomacy, and clinical research. He was recognized by the UCSF Academy of Medical Educators for his excellence in teaching.  He was Co-director of the Joint PhD in Global Health and Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at SDSU from 2009-2015, where he was recognized as Outstanding Graduate Professor in the College of Health and Human Services and as Outstanding International Scholar by the Scholars Without  Borders.  He is the Editor of ‘21st Century Global Health Diplomacy,’ World Scientific Publishers, 2013, and he is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. 

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