John Auerbach is a Distinguished Professor of Practice in Health Sciences and the Director of the Institute on Urban Health Research and Practice at Northeastern University. He joined the University in 2012.
From 2007 to 2012 he was the Massachusetts’s Commissioner of Public Health. As Commissioner he oversaw a Department with 3,100 employees and 100 separate programmatic units including those addressing chronic and infectious disease, substance abuse, environmental health, and emergency preparedness. He initiated the Mass in Motion initiative, a multi-faceted campaign to prevent obesity and promote wellness. He was a member of the team that implemented the state’s groundbreaking health care reform initiative. He was the President of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) in 2010-2011.
Prior to his appointment as Commissioner, Auerbach had been the Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission, the City’s health department, for 9 years. Under his leadership, the Commission developed new initiatives on tobacco control, cancer, asthma, obesity, emergency preparedness as well as a broad-based and comprehensive campaign to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities. He served as a member of the cabinet of Mayor Thomas Menino.
Mr. Auerbach had previously worked at the State Health Department for a decade, first as the Chief of Staff and later as an Assistant Commissioner overseeing the HIV/AIDS Bureau. He began his career in public health as an administrator in the Uphams Corner Community Health Center and a manager at Boston City Hospital and the Boston University School of Medicine.