C. Tracy Orleans ’70
Behavioral Scientist, Public Health Advocate
C. Tracy Orleans '70 is a nationally recognized expert and leader in behavioral medicine. She has tackled many public health issues, with the key areas of her life’s work being tobacco control and the prevention of childhood obesity. In a discipline that has only been recently recognized for its importance in improving public health, Orleans is considered a gifted leader who has advanced the field. Her work has focused on improving the health behaviors of populations at disproportionate risk, including the poor, the less educated, minorities, and the elderly.
She is currently senior program officer and senior scientist at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted solely to the public’s health. As senior scientist, Orleans leads the foundation’s efforts to develop and disseminate science-based strategies for addressing the major behavioral causes of preventable death and chronic disease. She oversees a current portfolio of more than $375 million in programs and grants. From 2005-2009, Orleans was the foundation’s first Distinguished Fellow, a role in which she developed innovative approaches for assuring that the foundation’s commitments in key goal areas would have a broad and lasting impact.
Orleans has been the principal investigator or co-principal investigator in 20 National Institutes of Health and other research grants and has authored or co-authored 225 publications. She was elected to the National Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research in 1998 and in 2000 served as president of the Society of Behavioral Medicine.
Orleans was a Psychology major at Wellesley College, and she received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Maryland.