Alexander N. Ortega, MPH, PhD

Professor and Chair, Health Management & Policy
Director, Center for Population Health and Community Impact
Dana and David Dornsife School of Public Health
Drexel University

Alex Ortega, PhD, an epidemiologist and health services researcher, is Professor and Chair of the Department of Health Management and Policy and Director of the Center for Population Health and Community Impact in the Dornsife School of Public Health at Drexel University. Prior to his appointment at Drexel, Professor Ortega served on the public health faculties of UCLA, Yale University, and The Ohio State University. He has also been a Visiting Professor at Johns Hopkins University and Columbia University. At UCLA, he held a variety of leadership positions including the Director of the UCLA Institute for Social Research, Director of the UCLA Center for Population Health and Health Disparities, and Associate Director of the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center. His UCLA health disparities research center was one of only five funded nationally by NHLBI. Ortega is internationally-recognized for his research and public advocacy in improving the health and well-being of Latino children and families in the United States, especially for those who are undocumented or are otherwise disenfranchised. He has conducted NIH, AHRQ, and foundation-funded research in a variety of sites and contexts, including Puerto Rico, New England, and Southern California. He is best known for his community-engaged research and academic pipeline programs in East Los Angeles and Boyle Heights, California, where he and his colleagues worked to transform the food environment in these urban food swamps by using youth-engagement and social justice strategies. He is a recipient of multiple research awards including the Distinguished Nationally-Known Health Professional Award by the Latino Caucus of the American Public Health Association.