President and CEO, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (Festival Underwriter)
Richard Besser is president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the largest private foundation in the country devoted solely to improving health. Before joining RWJF in April 2017, he was chief health and medical editor for ABC News, where he reported on the Zika outbreak in Brazil and Ebola in Liberia. In 2009, Besser was acting director for the CDC, where he directed the Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response. A pediatrician and infectious disease specialist, Besser is also a pediatrics professor at Columbia University and a distinguished visiting fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health.