Robert Wood Johnson Foundation appoints Dr. Richard Besser CEO: 6 things to know

Princeton, N.J.-based Robert Wood Johnson Foundation hired Richard Besser, MD, to take over as president and CEO, succeeding Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD.

Here are six things to know:

1. Dr. Besser, who will assume his new roles at RWJF in April, is currently chief health and medical editor at ABC News.

2. Previously, he was director of the Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response at the CDC.

3. He began his career at the CDC in 1991 and served as acting director for the organization from January to June 2009.

4. As CDC's acting director, he led the agency's response to the H1N1 influenza pandemic.

5. A pediatrician, Dr. Besser volunteers with the Children's Aid Society, and he is currently a professor of pediatrics at Columbia University, both in New York City.

6. He completed his pediatrics residency at John Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore.

"Working to improve the health and well-being of all Americans is a high calling. Doing it here, with an organization of such stature and credibility will be a great honor and privilege," said Dr. Besser in a statement.

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