Dr. Alonzo L. Plough

Vice President for Research & Evaluation & Chief Science Officer
Princeton, New Jersey
United States

Focus Areas

Economic Security
Disaster Planning / Response
Higher Education
Policy & Education
Public Health & Safety


Alonzo L. Plough, PhD, MPH, joined the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as vice president, Research-Evaluation-Learning and chief science officer in January 2014. Plough came to the Foundation from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, where he served as director of emergency preparedness and response from 2009–2013. In that role, Plough was responsible for the leadership and management of the public health preparedness activities protecting the 10 million residents of Los Angeles County from natural disasters and threats related to disease outbreaks and other public health emergencies. He coordinated activities in emergency operations, infections disease control, risk communication, planning, and community engagement. Prior to this position, Plough served as vice president of strategy, planning and evaluation for The California Endowment from 2005–2009. He was responsible for the leadership of the Endowment’s strategic planning and development, evaluation, research, and organizational learning. Plough also served 10 years as director and health officer for the Seattle and King County Department of Public Health, and professor of health services at the University of Washington School of Public Health in Seattle. He previously served as director of public health in Boston for eight years. Plough earned his PhD and MA at Cornell University, and his MPH at Yale University School of Medicine’s Department of Epidemiology and Public Health. He did his undergraduate work at St. Olaf College, where he earned a BA. He has held academic appointments at Harvard University School of Public Health, Tufts University Department of Community Medicine, and Boston University School of Management. He has been the recipient of numerous awards for public service and leadership and is the author of an extensive body of scholarly articles, books, and book chapters. Plough lives in Princeton and is married with two adult sons.