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Ayanna Bennett

Dr. Ayanna Bennett

Ayanna Bennett, MD, MSPH, FAAP, is the Director of the District of Columbia Department of Health (DC Health) and a servant leader. She is proud to stand alongside the many other dedicated public professionals at DC Health. During her over twenty-year public health career, she has addressed health disparities and contributed to systemic changes to improve public health with sincerity, bold determination and dedication.

Dr. Bennett's work is guided by her commitment to data informed decision-making, operationalizing health equity, and supporting community driven initiatives. These commitments form the foundation of her goal to create a healthier and more equitable District of Columbia.

Early in her career, Dr. Bennett co-founded the 3rd Street Youth Center and Clinic, a community-based nonprofit serving young people in Bayview, California. She initially served as Medical Director and later as Executive Director, showcasing her commitment to community health. In 2016, Dr. Bennett joined the San Francisco Department of Public Health as the first Director of Interdivisional Initiatives. In this role, she spearheaded initiatives that integrated department resources, including research, education, community engagement, and healthcare delivery. Since being appointed by Mayor Muriel E. Bowser and unanimously confirmed by the Council of the District of Columbia in late 2023, Dr. Bennett has been working to improve healthcare quality and population health. Her approach encompasses various strategies such as research, education, community involvement, and healthcare provision, all with a focus on promoting health equity and racial equality within the diverse fabric of Washington, D.C.

Drawing from her educational background, which includes a Bachelor of Arts from Stanford University, a Master of Science from UC Berkeley's School of Public Health, and a Doctor of Medicine from the UC San Francisco, where she completed her pediatric residency, Dr. Bennett brings a wealth of knowledge, experience and compassion to her work.

Dr. Bennett recognizes the challenges ahead but remains committed to working with community members and stakeholders to pursue a healthier and fairer future for all residents of the District.