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Health, Behavior and Society Professor and Chair

Bloomberg School of Public Health

Established in 2017 with funds from the Behavior and Health Endowment, which was created in 2003 by Michael R. Bloomberg

MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG is the founder of Bloomberg LP, Philanthropist, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, World Health Organization Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases, and three-term mayor of New York City.

He is an entrepreneur and philanthropist who served as mayor of New York City from 2002-2013 after leading the company he started in 1981 for 20 years. Since leaving City Hall, he has resumed leadership of Bloomberg LP.

Bloomberg was elected mayor less than two months after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Under his leadership, the city rebounded faster and stronger than expected on issues ranging from education to health to economic development.

A lifelong philanthropist, Bloomberg founded Bloomberg Philanthropies, which focuses on five main areas: public health, education, the environment, the arts, and government innovation. He also leads a number of bi-partisan coalitions on urgent issues, including climate change, illegal guns, immigration reform, and infrastructure investment.

Bloomberg graduated from Johns Hopkins University and Harvard Business School.

Held by Rajiv N. Rimal

RAJIV N. RIMAL, PhD, is the Health, Behavior and Society Professor and Chair. Dr. Rimal is a leading expert on health behavior change and on social norms. His research focuses on the use of social and behavioral theory for disease prevention and harm reduction. Rimal has more than 25 years of experience in the conceptualization, implementation and evaluation of health promotion interventions throughout the world. He is the author of the Theory of Normative Social Behavior, which has informed work to reduce violence against women, improve driver safety among adolescents, reduce anemia among women, and study alcohol consumption among college students. This theory is also being used in numerous interventions to bring about social change.

Rimal’s current research includes a project in India, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, that uses a social norms-based approach to design, implement and evaluate an intervention to reduce anemia among women of reproductive age. Another study investigates how structural changes in health clinics affect service uptake in developing countries. He is also leading studies that aim to understand how people with different political orientations process information about climate change and how mass media and social media can influence people’s attitudes and behaviors related to climate change.

Rimal has served as chair of the Health Communication divisions of both the International Communication Association and the National Communication Association. He was a recipient of the American Public Health Association’s Everett M. Rogers Award for Public Health Education and Health Promotion.

Rimal received a PhD in communication from Stanford University in 1995 and a Master of Arts in journalism and mass communication at Southern Illinois University in 1991.