Namvar Zohoori is Deputy State Health Officer and Chief Science Officer at the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH), and Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health. He earned his MD degree from the University of the West Indies in Jamaica, his MPH from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and his PhD in Nutrition and Epidemiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Dr. Zohoori joined the ADH in 2004, having worked previously in the areas of public health, nutrition, epidemiology, aging, and chronic diseases in Russia, China, the Philippines, Jamaica, and the United States. In his previous roles as the State Chronic Disease Director and the Director of the Center for Health Advancement, he directed the state’s programs in Maternal, Adolescent and Child Health, WIC, Chronic Disease Prevention and Control, Tobacco Prevention and Cessation, and Oral Health. Dr. Zohoori has served as Chairman of the Arkansas Legislative Stroke Task Force, and of the Arkansas Chronic Disease Coordinating Council.
In his current position, Dr. Zohoori oversees the functions of the Office of the Chief Science Officer (OCSO), whose mission is to promote scientific excellence and integrity in all programmatic, educational, public health policy, and research activities of the Arkansas Department of Health. As Chair of the Science Advisory Committee, the Chief Science Officer oversees the review and approval of all issues, requests, and publications related to data housed within the ADH. He also is responsible for the Department’s Office of Performance Management, Quality Improvement, and Evaluation. Dr. Zohoori chairs the COPH/ADH Joint Advisory Committee to facilitate coordination between the ADH and the COPH in promoting their shared ideals of an Academic Health Department.
Nationally, Dr. Zohoori is currently serving on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary’s Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives for 2030. He also served for seven years on the Board of Directors, and as President, of the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors. He has served on a number of CDC Special Emphasis Review Panels, and as a member of expert panels on the CDC-AMA-AARP Preventive Services Collaboration for Building Clinical and Community Linkages in the US. Dr. Zohoori has also worked and consulted with a number of national and international organizations, including the Institute of Medicine, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the Partnership for the Accurate Testing of Hormones (PATH), the World Bank, the US Agency for International Development, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, and WHO/PAHO.
Namvar enjoys driving to work and back every day with his wife, Leanne, who also works at ADH. They have three children, who are all grown up and have flown the coop. As empty-nesters, Namvar and Leanne enjoy travelling, visiting their kids around the country, working with non-profits and on projects around the house, and listening to and playing music.