Daniel E. Dawes, JD

Executive Director

Daniel E. Dawes, J.D., a widely respected lawyer, author, scholar, educator, and leader in the health equity, health reform, and mental health movements, is director of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia and a professor of health law, policy and management. He is also the co-founder of the Health Equity Leadership and Exchange Network (HELEN), which is a nationwide network of over 2000 governmental and non-governmental leaders and scholars focused on bolstering leadership and the exchange of research, information, and solutions to advance evidence-based health equity-focused policies and programs. 

Dawes's research focuses on the drivers of health inequities among under-resourced, vulnerable, and marginalized communities and is the pioneer of a new approach to examining inequities, the political determinants of health. He brings a forward-thinking, inclusive, and multidisciplinary approach to health policy, authoring two groundbreaking books, 150 Years of ObamaCare and The Political Determinants of Health, published by Johns Hopkins University Press, which have received critical acclaim and rave reviews. 

Dawes is an elected fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine, and serves or served on several boards, commissions, and councils focused on improving health outcomes and elevating health equity in the United States and around the world, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Federal Advisory Committee on Health Disparities, National Center for Civil and Human Rights - Health and Human Rights Institute Advisory Committee, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Policies for Action National Advisory Committee, the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health National Advisory Council, the Healthcare Georgia Foundation Board of Directors, the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities Board of Directors, the National League of Cities National Advisory Board, and the Children's Mental Health Network National Advisory Council.

He is the recipient of several national awards and recognition, including the American Public Health Association's Award for Significant Contribution to Public Health, the American Psychological Association's Exceptional Leadership in Advocacy Award, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Health Equity Champion Award, the National Medical Association's Louis Stokes Health Advocacy Award, Families USA Health Equity Advocate Award, and the NMQF Health Leader Award. 


David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D.

Our Founder

David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D., Founder of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute (SHLI), has dedicated his career to uncovering the social determinants of health disparities. Dr. Satcher joined the Morehouse School of Medicine in 2002 with the National Center for Primary Care and in 2006 founded SHLI. Having held distinguished roles in public service as Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),  United States Assistant Secretary for Health and 16th Surgeon General of the United States. 

Dr. Satcher is leading change towards eliminating health disparities for racial and ethnic minorities through his teachings and research. More recently, he has released his memoir entitled, “My Quest For Health Equity: Notes on Learning While Leading”, published by John Hopkins Press. During his time with SHLI he has developed leadership programs, raised over $12 million dollars in endowments, and worked on groundbreaking research for underserved populations. Dr. Satcher is a graduate of Case Western Medical School where he obtained his M.D. and Ph.D and completed his undergraduate studies with Morehouse College.

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