Vice President for Programs and Advocacy
Jeffrey Willett oversees the Foundation’s grant activities and works closely with the President and CEO and Executive Staff to operationalize the strategic direction from the Board of Directors. Willett guides the Program Office staff to plan, develop, implement and evaluate strategic grant initiatives that contribute to significant advancement across the Foundation’s focus areas.
Willett joined the Foundation in 2012 after serving as director of the New York State Tobacco Control Program. In that role, he led the state’s comprehensive tobacco prevention efforts, including the development, implementation, evaluation and dissemination of effective tobacco control and public health interventions. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Center for Public Health and Tobacco Policy at New England Law-Boston and served on advisory committees for several public health organizations including the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health, Legacy and the North American Quitline Consortium. During his tenure, rates of adult and youth smoking dropped to their lowest levels on record for New York State.
Willett also served as the director of research and evaluation for the Ohio Tobacco Prevention Foundation where he helped refine that foundation’s grant making program. In addition to his work in tobacco prevention and public health, Willett also has extensive experience in evaluation, research, strategic communication and policy development.
A native of Nebraska, Willett has three degrees from the University of Nebraska: a bachelor’s degree in journalism, a master’s degree in sociology and a doctorate in sociology.