Press Room

John Wiesman Named ASTHO President

ARLINGTON, VA (Sept. 21, 2017)—The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) announced the appointment of John Wiesman, secretary of health at the Washington State Department of Health, as ASTHO’s new president, effective Sept. 21.

“I am thrilled to serve as president of this amazing organization and to help tackle the many public health challenges facing our country,” says Wiesman. “ASTHO is a non-partisan public health powerhouse and I look forward to working with states and territories to further achieve optimal health for all.”

Wiesman has served as secretary of health for the Washington State Department of Health since April 2013. During his career, Wiesman has transformed health departments from providing individual clinical services to implementing policies, systems, and environmental changes that make healthy choices easier and less expensive. In Washington state, he is working to create the healthiest next generation, end AIDS, reduce suicide deaths, and identify and fund foundational public health services across the state. 

Wiesman is a native of Wisconsin and has worked in four local public health departments in Washington and Connecticut. He started his public health career in Connecticut in 1986 and was in one of the first groups trained to provide HIV counseling and testing. He earned his Doctorate of Public Health in public health executive leadership from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 2012. He received a Master of Public Health in chronic disease epidemiology from Yale University in 1987 and his Bachelor of Arts degree in biology from Lawrence University in Wisconsin in 1983.

“We are extremely honored to have Dr. Wiesman serve as our new president. He has a breadth of experience, he is a wonderful mentor, and he walks the talk,” says Michael Fraser, executive director of ASTHO. “As a local health department director, he understands the urgent need to address specific community health problems and his statewide perspective as secretary gives him the point of view an ASTHO president needs to inform national policy on behalf of states. I am truly excited to work with and learn from John in the year ahead.”

Other ASTHO leaders elected at the meeting include Nicole Alexander-Scott, director of the Rhode Island Department of Health, who will serve as president-elect, and Gerd Clabaugh, director at the Iowa Department of Public Health, who will serve as secretary-treasurer. 


ASTHO is the national nonprofit organization representing the public health agencies of the United States, the U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia, as well as the more than 100,000 public health professionals these agencies employ. ASTHO members, the chief health officials of these jurisdictions, are dedicated to formulating and influencing sound public health policy and to ensuring excellence in state-based public health practice.