Mary O'Dowd, 36 New Jersey Department of Health, Commissioner
Accomplishments: Maintaining state and federal funding for hospitals in N.J.; supporting regional efforts to coordinate care more effectively; bolstering transparency by, among other steps, releasing inspection records for ambulatory surgical centers; generating dialogue on end-of-life care; shaping state policy in the areas of health care delivery, public health and emergency preparedness.
Most Influential Role Models: “My parents ... They brought me up with a strong sense of independence, an appreciation for the privilege of education, the importance of personal integrity, and the value of kindness and generosity. These are the principles that have guided me throughout my life and career.”
Steps to Balance Life and Work: “I am surrounded by a great team, both at work and at home, that provides tremendous support. Additionally, I find it is important to take one day at a time and stay focused on priorities to ensure that I am spending time doing things that are most important to me.”
People Would Be Surprised to Know: “I come from a very large Italian and Irish family. I’m the oldest of six children and 32 first cousins.”
New Jersey Department of Health
Trenton, Mercer County
Super power: Teleportation