Rollins School of Public Health | Faculty Profile
Emory Rollins School of Public Health

Jean  O'Connor

Adjunct Associate Professor

Adjunct or Visiting, Health Policy and Management

Adjunct or Visiting, Behavioral/Social/Health Educ

Affiliate, Executive MPH

Dr. Jean C. O'Connor is a collaborative, results-oriented leader with two decades of experience in public health, policy, and management. She is currently with Guidehouse's Public Health Sector team, providing consulting services on scientific and organizational issues to government clients. Her prior experience includes senior and executive leadership roles in state public health, with CDC, global health, and an FQHC. In these roles, she has worked with communities, educators policy makers, and private sector leaders to solve difficult public health problems related to healthcare access, COVID-19, chronic disease, tobacco use and emergency preparedness and response. She has written proposals for and overseen the successful award and implementation of more than $100 million dollars in grants and contracts. Dr. O'Connor has been teaching graduate health policy and management leaders at Emory since 2003 and the University of Georgia since 2017. Jean is on several non-profit boards, including Heluna Health, and is a past-president of the U.S. National Association of Chronic Disease Prevention Directors.  She earned her DrPH from UNC Chapel Hill and her JD and MPH from Emory University. She is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE) and was named as a Fulbright Specialist in Global Health and Law in 2018. Her work has been published in numerous public health journals, book chapters and media reports. 

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Areas of Interest

  • Chronic Diseases
  • Emergency Preparedness
  • Global Health
  • Health Policy
  • Non-communicable Diseases
  • Public Health Leadership


  • MPH 2001, Rollins School of Public Health
  • BS 1998, Emory College of Arts and Sciences
  • JD 2001, Emory University School of Law
  • DrPH 2009, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Courses Taught

  • PRS 561D: PH Advocacy Capstone I

Affiliations & Activities

Board of Directors, Heluna Health / Public Health Foundation Enterprises (2013–present)

Chair, Governance Committee, Heluna Health (2019-present)

Board of Directors, Georgia Primary Care Association (2019-2020)

Board Member, American Diabetes Association (national) (2019-2020)

Board Member, Georgians for a Healthy Future (2018–2020)

Chair, Program Strategy Committee, Heluna Health (2015–2019)

Committee Member, Governance Committee, Heluna Health (2018-2019)

President, National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (2017–2018)

President-Elect, National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (2016–2017)

Board of Directors, National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (2014–2018)

Immediate Past President, Rollins School of Public Health Alumni Board (2009–2010)

President, Rollins School of Public Health Alumni Board (2008–2009)

President-Elect, Rollins School of Public Health Alumni Board (2007–2008)

Secretary, Rollins School of Public Health Alumni Board (2005–2006)

Board Member, Georgia Women’s Policy Group (2004–2007)

Founding Board Member and Treasurer, Public Health Law Association (2002–2008)


  • , , Chronic disease prevention as an adaptive leadership problem, Journal of the Georgia Public Health Association, ,
  • , , Quantifying disparities in accessibility and availability of pediatric primary care across multiple states with implications for targeted interventions, Journal of Health Services Research, ,
  • , , Paying for prevention: A critical opportunity for public health. , J of Law Med Ethics., 41 Suppl, 69-72
  • , , State Laws, Informational Privacy, and the Public’s Health , American Journal of Public Health , 101(10), 1845-1850
  • , , What Gets Measured, Gets Changed: Evaluating Law and Policy for Maximum Impact, American Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics, 39(s1), 21-26
  • , , A comprehensive review of state laws governing Internet and other delivery sales of cigarettes in the U.S.A. , Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 10(2), 253-265
  • , , Judicial decision-making, the public’s health, and state preemption of local tobacco ordinances., Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, 36(2), 403-12
  • , , Finding Lasting Legal Solutions to the Dual Epidemics of Methamphetamine Production and Use, North Dakota Law Review, 82, 1165
  • , , Reactions to smoke-free policies and messaging strategies in support and opposition: A comparison of Southerners and Non-Southerners in the US. , Health Policy and Behavior Review, ,