• Senior Advisor to the Center for Public Health Initiatives
  • Professor of Epidemiology, Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, School of Medicine
  • Professor of Epidemiology, Department of Pediatrics, Section on Nutrition, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Associate Dean for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, School of Medicine
  • Senior Scholar, Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Medicine
  • Senior Fellow, Institute on Aging, School of Medicine
  • Senior Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute for Health Economics
  • Faculty Associate, Penn Institute for Urban Research
  • Affiliated Faculty, Center for Africana Studies

Dr. Kumanyika was the founding director of Penn's MPH program, serving in this role from the program's inception in 2002 until May of 2007. She has a unique interdisciplinary background that integrates epidemiology, nutrition, minority health and health disparities, and women's health issues, with a focus on prevention of chronic diseases. Dr. Kumanyika has served as principal investigator or co-investigator on several multi-center and single-center randomized clinical trials or observational studies related to salt intake, other aspects of diet, or obesity. Several of her studies have evaluated interventions to promote healthy eating and physical activity in African American children or adults in clinical or community-based settings. She founded and chairs the African American Collaborative Obesity Research Network (AACORN –, a national network that seeks to improve the quantity, quality, and effective translation of research on weight issues in African American communities.  Research to improve equity in food marketing environments in African American communities is a major theme in AACORN’s current research.  Dr. Kumanyika is also currently engaged in research collaborations that involve the use of systems science approaches to study complex public health problems. Her current research is funded by the NIH, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Aetna Foundation.

Dr. Kumanyika has been involved in numerous national and international public health-related activities. For example, from 2008-2011, she was Vice-Chair of the Department of Health & Human Services Secretary’s Advisory Committee on the Healthy People 2020 Objectives. She is co-chair of the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Childhood Obesity Prevention and of the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF), and she is a member of the World Health Organization’s Expert Advisory Panel on Nutrition. Dr. Kumanyika has been active in the American Public Health Association (APHA) since 1976 and has held several leadership roles in APHA, including Chair of the Food and Nutrition Section and of the APHA Executive Board. Locally she is member of the Section on Public Health of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia and serves on the Board of Directors of The Food Trust.