Dr. Yonette Felicity Thomas is the founder and president of UrbanHealth360, an organization of multidisciplinary thinkers centered on a people-oriented, community-focused approach to urban health. Dr. Thomas is a globally acknowledged thought leader, urban health champion, and an advocate for valuing the health of women and girls as an economic imperative. A social epidemiologist/medical sociologist by training, she has served as the chief of Epidemiology at the National Institute on Drug Abuse in the National Institutes of Health and held academic positions at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and Howard University, and as a vice president for research. She founded Borjoner International and Strategic Transitions to influence the progress, health, and wellbeing of individuals and communities across the world.
As a founding board member of Women’s Economic Imperative (WEI), she leads the organization’s focus on the health of women and girls as an economic value. Her work as a global advisor for Evidence for Sustainable Human Development Systems in Africa (EVIHDAF) and the Centre for Urban Health and Development within the Asian Institute of Poverty Alleviation (CUHD-AIPA) extends her focus on the global south and the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals in this last decade. She is the Associate Editor for Women and Girls for Cities & Health.
Her primary research and publications have focused on the social determinants of health, health disparities, the health of women and girls as an economic value, the social epidemiology of drug abuse and HIV/AIDS, and the link with geography, including edited volumes: Geography and Drug Addiction, Crime, HIV, and Health: intersections of Criminal Justice and Public Health Concerns.