Dr. Gail Christopher is vice president for policy and senior advisor for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, Michigan. In this role, she serves on the president's cabinet that provides overall direction and leadership for the foundation. Since joining the foundation in 2007, Gail has served as vice president for program strategy with responsibility for multiple areas of programming, including Racial Equity; Food, Health & Well-Being; Community Engagement and Leadership; as well as place-based programming in New Orleans and New Mexico.
Prior to joining the foundation, Dr. Christopher was vice president of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies' Office of Health, Women and Families in Washington, DC. There, she led the Joint Center Health Policy Institute, a multi-year initiative created to engage underserved, racial, and ethnic minorities in health policy discussions. Previously, she was guest scholar in the governance studies department at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC, and executive director of the Institute for Government Innovation at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She has also launched, led, and managed three public commissions. Under her sponsorship, the landmark Dellums Commission research into conditions faced by young men of color produced policy recommendations to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities.
Dr. Christopher is a nationally recognized leader in health policy, with particular expertise and experience in the issues related to social determinants of health, health disparities, and public policy issues of concern to African Americans and other minority populations. She has more than 20 years of experience in designing and managing national initiatives and nonprofit organizations. She brings extensive knowledge and experience in creating a comprehensive approach to well-being and is nationally recognized for her pioneering work to infuse holistic health and diversity concepts into public sector programs and policy discourse. Her distinguished career and contributions to public service were honored in 1996 when she was elected as a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. In 2007 she received the Leadership Award from the Health Brain Trust of the Congressional Black Caucus for her work in reducing racial and ethnic health disparities. In 2015, Dr. Christopher received the esteemed Grantmakers in Health's Terrance Keenan Leadership Award in Health Philanthropy.
A prolific writer and presenter, Dr. Christopher is the author or co-author of three books, a monthly column in the Federal Times, and more than 250 articles, presentations, and publications. She holds a Doctor of Naprapathy degree from the Chicago National College of Naprapathy in Illinois and completed advanced study in the interdisciplinary Ph.D. program in holistic health and clinical nutrition at the Union for Experimenting Colleges and Universities at Union Graduate School of Cincinnati, Ohio.