Dr. Lauren Smith

Lauren Smith, M.D., MPH, is the chief health equity and strategy officer for the CDC Foundation. In this newly created role, Smith brings more than 25 years working at the intersection of health care delivery and management, public policy and public health fields.

As chief health equity and strategy officer, Smith partners with the CDC Foundation’s other senior leaders to develop and drive strategic efforts to embed health equity across the foundation’s COVID-19 response activities with an explicit focus on addressing systemic racism and its impact on vulnerable populations’ resiliency amidst the pandemic. In addition, she leads activities to build organizational capacity to integrate health equity into the foundation’s practice, process, action, innovation, and organizational performance to elevate the importance of and deepen the foundation’s health equity impact. In this role, Smith serves on the Foundation’s executive team. Smith will also serve as a principal advisor to the board of directors, the CEO and the executive team on the foundation’s overall strategic opportunities, risks and tradeoffs related to health equity strategy and implementation.

Smith joins the CDC Foundation from FSG, one of the world’s leading social impact consulting firms, where she served as co-CEO and led the firm’s U.S. health practice. At FSG, she helped drive the vision and growth of the firm to advance its mission of achieving lasting and equitable social impact. In this role, she partnered with community, social sector, public sector, health care, public health and philanthropy leaders, including in place-based collaborations.

Her previous leadership roles have included serving as the medical director and then interim commissioner for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the senior strategic advisor for a national innovation and improvement network focused on reducing infant mortality, the national medical director of the Medical Legal Partnership for Children and the medical director of the pediatric inpatient service at Boston Medical Center, where she was on faculty in the Department of Pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine.

Smith’s experience in federal and state government includes roles as a policy analyst in the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and as a W.T. Grant Health Policy Fellow in the office of the Massachusetts Speaker of the House.

Smith currently serves on the board of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Health Law Advocates, and Zero to Three. She has published extensively in the peer-reviewed literature on health equity and the implication of social policies on child and family wellbeing. She has also served on numerous national and state advisory committees focused on public health and health care.

Smith holds a B.A .with honors in biology from Harvard College, an M.D. from University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, and an MPH from University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health. She completed her pediatrics residency and chief residency at Children’s Hospital Boston and her general pediatrics fellowship at Boston Medical Center, Department of Pediatrics.