Dr. David A. Ross receives 2018 Humanitarian Award

April 12, 2018

Dr. David A. Ross has been named the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust’s 2018 Humanitarian Award recipient.

On April 10, 2018, Governor Nathan Deal signed a proclamation declaring April 15 – 22, 2018, as “Holocaust Days of Remembrance” in Georgia. By law, the Georgia Commission on the Holocaust is charged with holding an annual remembrance observance. The 2018 Humanitarian Award will be presented to Dr. David A. Ross on April 20 during the 2018 Days of Remembrance ceremony in the State Capitol.

Dr. Ross is President and CEO of The Task Force for Global Health, an international non-profit organization based in Decatur, Georgia. The Task Force is one of the largest non-profit organizations in the United States with field offices in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and Guatemala.

Founded in 1984, The Task Force strives to improve health conditions for vulnerable populations around the world, especially those living in poverty. The Task Force’s programs focus on controlling and eliminating debilitating diseases and building durable systems that protect and promote health. It works in partnership with major funders and pharmaceutical companies, and functions as an affiliate of Emory University.

Dr. Ross has over 35 years of experience, in both the public and private sectors, leading collaborative programs that strengthen the information capacity of public health systems in the United States and other countries. In his role as president and CEO of The Task Force, Dr. Ross provides strategic direction and oversees eight programs focused on neglected tropical diseases, vaccines, field epidemiology, and public health informatics

Prior to assuming leadership of the Task Force in 2016, he served as director of its Public Health Informatics Institute (PHII) and its predecessor, All Kids Count. Dr. Ross launched PHII in 2002 and spearheaded its growth to become internationally recognized in the field of public health informatics, a discipline that focuses on using information to improve health outcomes. Today, PHII has a $7.4-million annual budget with a diverse portfolio of domestic and international programs supported by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention and top-tier national foundations. Most recently, PHII partnered with the Emory Global Health Institute on a major initiative of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: to help understand and ultimately address the causes of death and serious illness for children under 5 in developing countries. This initiative will last at least 20 years and may commit more than $1 billion in funding to support improved disease surveillance.

Dr. Ross was founding director of the CDC’s first national initiative to improve the information infrastructure of public health in the United States. He has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals and frequently serves on national panels. He co-chaired “Data for Health,” a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation initiative that is exploring how information and data on health can be harnessed to help people lead healthier lives.

Before joining The Task Force, Dr. Ross held leadership, administrative, and corporate consultant roles with the U.S. Public Health Service, the CDC, a private hospital system in Maryland, and one of the largest health information technology firms. Dr. Ross holds a Doctor of Science degree in operations research from The Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor of Science degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Colorado.