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USC Annenberg dean joins Cal Wellness’ board of directors

Ernest J. Wilson III brings a fresh perspective to the foundation that addresses the health needs of Californians

by USC Annenberg staff
Dean Ernest J. Wilson III
USC Annenberg Dean Ernest J. Wilson III (USC Photo/Brett Van Ort)

Ernest J. Wilson III has been elected to the board of directors of The California Wellness Foundation.

“It is a real honor,” said Wilson, dean of the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. “I am deeply impressed with Cal Wellness’ commitment to meet the health needs of California citizens directly and their insistence that health and wellness must be defined expansively — not just when people show up in times of emergency.

“I look forward to contributing to the important mission of this great institution,” added Wilson, a professor of political science and a faculty fellow at the USC Center on Public Diplomacy.

Wilson holds the Walter H. Annenberg Chair in Communication at USC Annenberg. He also heads USC Annenberg’s Third Space, an initiative that helps create a talent pool of next-generation leaders who will shape the future of media, communications, entertainment and business.

He holds a doctorate in political science and has served as director of international programs and resources on the National Security Council at the White House; director of the Policy and Planning Unit for the U.S. Information Agency; deputy director of the Global Information Infrastructure Commission; an adviser for President Barack Obama’s transition team; and a board member and board chair of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

“We are excited to welcome Dr. Wilson to the board and believe he will bring new expertise to the foundation,” said Elizabeth Gomez, Cal Wellness’ board chair. “He has a fresh perspective from his work related to academia, communications and political science. We are all looking forward to working with him as Cal Wellness implements its Advancing Wellness grants program.”

Looking ahead

Judy Belk, Cal Wellness’ president and CEO, said she looks forward to working with Wilson, whom she describes as a global thought leader and a longtime champion of social change.

Dr. Wilson’s distinguished career in communications, public policy, information technology and international relations.

Judy Belk

“Dr. Wilson’s distinguished career in communications, public policy, information technology and international relations, coupled with his history of promoting diversity and inclusion, makes him a great fit as a Cal Wellness trustee,” Belk said. “He understands the importance of leveling the playing field to advance the health and wellness of all Californians.”

The California Wellness Foundation has a mission to improve the health of the people of California by making grants for health promotion, wellness education and disease prevention.

Since its founding in 1992, the foundation has awarded 7,690 grants totaling more than $912 million.

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USC Annenberg dean joins Cal Wellness’ board of directors

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