Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey is stepping down as CEO and president of the $10 billion Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, it announced Tuesday.
Lavizzo-Mourey, the first woman and first African-American to lead the foundation, has spent nearly 14 years at the helm of the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted to health.
She will serve until a successor is in place, the foundation said. Korn Ferry will be assisting the foundation in its search, it added.
“Risa’s commitment to improving the health of this nation during her tenure as CEO is simply unparalleled, and she has led this foundation with an extraordinary sense of purpose and passion,” Roger Fine, chairman of the RWJF board of trustees, said in a prepared statement. “It is difficult to see her leave, but we are fortunate that she will remain at the helm until a successor is in place.”
Lavizzo-Mourey, who joined the foundation in January 2003, was ranked No. 43 on the NJBIZ 2016 Power 50 Health Care list, and No. 44 on the 2015 edition.
As the foundation’s leader, she has worked to advance its vision of building a Culture of Health, the foundation said, including spearheading its initiative to reverse the national childhood obesity epidemic. RWJF committed $1 billion toward eradicating this health problem, dedicating $500 million to the mission in 2007 and another $500 million in 2015.
“It has been a true pleasure and honor to work alongside a visionary like Risa,” Dr. James Marks, executive vice president of the foundation, said in a statement. “She will be greatly missed, but will leave us a tremendous legacy. Building a Culture of Health is a vision that will energize our work for years to come.”