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Shiriki K. Kumanyika, PhD, MS, MPH

Shiriki Kumanyika headshot

Research Professor
Community Health and Prevention
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PhD, Human Nutrition, Cornell University
MPH, Johns Hopkins University
MS, Social Work, Columbia University
BA, Liberal Arts, Syracuse University


Shiriki Kumanyika, PhD, MPH, joined the Dornsife School faculty as a Research Professor in the fall of 2015.

She is Founding Chair of the Council on Black Health (formerly the African American Collaborative Obesity Research Network (AACORN)). The Council on Black Health (CBH) was affiliated with the Department of Community Health and Prevention and is now a community-based non-profit that works in partnership with Dr. Kumanyika on certain projects.

In addition to her Drexel affiliation, Dr. Kumanyika retains an appointment as an Emeritus Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn). She was the founding director of Penn's Master of Public Health program.

Dr. Kumanyika's research has focused on identifying effective strategies to reduce nutrition-related chronic disease risks, with a particular emphasis on achieving health equity for black Americans. Over more than three decades, she led or collaborated on single- or multi-center randomized clinical trials or observational studies related to obesity, sodium intake, and other aspects of diet and lifestyle. Several of these studies evaluated interventions to promote healthy eating and physical activity in Black children or adults in clinical or community-based settings. Her recent research with Council on Black Health colleagues has included studies of the targeted marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages to Black children and adults and food price influences on food purchases of Black household food shoppers.

Dr. Kumanyika was Vice-Chair of the HHS Secretary's Advisory Committee on Healthy People 2020 objectives and was also involved in efforts to develop Healthy People 2030. She is a past president of the American Public Health Association and a member of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM, formerly known as the Institute of Medicine (IOM)). Dr. Kumanyika has extensive experience in advisory roles related to public health and nutrition policy in the US and abroad. She is currently chair of the NAM Food and Nutrition Board, a consultant to the Health Equity group of the CDC Task force on Community Preventive Services and former Task Force member, a nutrition policy advisor to the World Health Organization and the World Cancer Research Fund, and Chair of the Expert Group for the Access to Nutrition Initiative.

Research Interests

  • Solutions to obesity and diet-related diseases in Black children and adults
  • Improving equity-focused obesity policies and programs
  • Targeted marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages
  • Food and nutrition policy
  • Evidence-based public health
  • Implementation research in community settings
  • Systems science applications in public health


Brownson RC, Kumanyika SK, Kreuter MW, Haire-Joshu D. Implementation science should give higher priority to health equity. Implementation Science: IS. 2021;16(1):28.

Mazzucca S, Arredondo EM, Hoelscher DM, et al. Expanding Implementation Research to Prevent Chronic Diseases in Community Settings. Annual Review of Public Health. 2021;42:135-158.

Kumanyika S, Afshin A, Arimond M, Lawrence M, McNaughton SA, Nishida C. Approaches to Defining Healthy Diets: A Background Paper for the International Expert Consultation on Sustainable Healthy Diets. Food and Nutrition Bulletin. 2020;41(2_suppl):7s-30s.

Kumanyika S, Dietz WH. Solving Population-wide Obesity - Progress and Future Prospects. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2020;383(23):2197-2200.

Kumanyika SK. A Framework for Increasing Equity Impact in Obesity Prevention. American Journal of Public Health. 2019;109(10):1350-1357.

Kumanyika SK. Unraveling common threads in obesity risk among racial/ethnic minority and migrant populations. Public Health. 2019;172:125-134.

Swinburn BA, Kraak VI, Allender S, …Kumanyika SK…et al. The Global Syndemic of Obesity, Undernutrition, and Climate Change: The Lancet Commission report. Lancet. 2019; 393(10173):791-846.

Kumanyika SK. Supplement overview: what the Healthy Communities Study is telling us about childhood obesity prevention in U.S. communities. Pediatr Obes. 2018;13 Suppl 1:3-6.

Isselmann DiSantis K, Kumanyika S, Carter-Edwards L, Rohm Young D, Grier SA, Lassiter V. Sensitizing Black Adult and Youth Consumers to Targeted Food Marketing Tactics in Their Environments. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2017; Oct 29;14(11). pii: E1316.

Huang TT, Cawley JH, Ashe M, Costa SA, Frerichs LM, Zwicker L, Rivera JA, Levy D, Hammond RA, Lambert EV, Kumanyika SK. Mobilisation of public support for policy actions to prevent obesity. Lancet. 2015; 385(9985):2422-31

Chatterji M, Green LW, Kumanyika S. L.E.A.D.: A framework for evidence gathering and use for the prevention of obesity and other complex public health problems. Health Education & Behavior. 2014;41(1):85-99.

Full listing on PubMed


Council on Black Health

Podcasts and Videos

Duke/Sanford World Food Policy Center. The Leading Voices in Food. E6: Shiriki Kumanyika on the Disparities in our Food.

Shiriki Kumanyika and Sonya Grier. Food Marketing Environments as Influences on Obesity and Diabetes Prevention and Control in Black Americans. Council on Black Health/Washington University at St. Louis Center for Diabetes Translation Research. Solutions to Diabetes in Black Americans Core.  Available at:

"Presidential Address" opening session of the 143rd Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association, November 1, 2015, Chicago, IL. Available at:

Kumanyika S. Using a Community-Centered View of Influences on Eating, Activity, and Body Weight, Health Equity Research and Practice Webinar. American Public Health Association and Tulane Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health. Available at