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 and 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, held academic positions at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and Howard University, and as a vice president for research. She founded Strategic Transitions LLC to influence the professional progress of individuals 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.
She is a founding member of the International Society for Urban Health (ISUH) and recently led the organization into sustainability by serving as the inaugural executive director. She has served as a science advisor for urban health to the New York Academy of Medicine. She is a founding board member and former vice president of the Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Science (IAPHS) and served on the Steering Committee of the National Hispanic Science Network on Drug Abuse for more than a decade. She served on the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Revisions to the Common Rule for the Protection of Human Subjects in Research in the Behavioral and Social Sciences.
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.