Recently named among Fortune's 40 Under 40 in Healthcare, Dr. Lauren Powell serves as the inaugural Vice President of US Health Equity and Community Wellness for Takeda Pharmaceuticals. In this trailblazing role, she is leading Takeda’s efforts to improve health outcomes in the most marginalized communities across the United States.
She concurrently serves as President and CEO of The Equitist. As the founding leader of The Equitist, she helps systems and leaders move from embracing health equity in theory, to action by equipping them with the tools to dismantle racism and other oppressive forces operating within our healthcare systems. Through immersive workshops, executive and individual coaching, and keynote speaking, she shifts mindsets, sways opinions, and enlightens the leaders who are shaping policies and making decisions that impact everyone’s health.
For more than a decade, Dr. Powell has been immersed in broad and progressive leadership positions where she’s been unapologetically outspoken about racial injustices and health inequities. Her professional and personal experiences spearheading equity efforts in healthcare, state government, academia, and public health, make her a nationally sought-after leader, speaker, and consultant on all things health equity.
Formerly the Director of Health Equity for the Commonwealth of Virginia, Dr. Powell was the youngest Black woman and the first with a PhD to serve in this powerful role where she led statewide strategic plans and initiatives towards pushing Virginia’s 8.5 million residents closer to health equity.
Dr. Powell has an established track record as a community-engaged, social epidemiologist with doctoral training on systems change thinking, and how to leverage data for equity. She earned a Bachelors of Science in Biochemistry from Xavier University of Louisiana, a Master in Public Administration at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical and Population Health Research at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Dr. Powell deeply values mentorship and community engagement. She actively seeks opportunities to help mold and encourage the next generation of leaders in health equity.
Uplifting and supporting historically marginalized communities is central to Dr. Powell’s passion and purpose. She currently serves on the board of Health Brigade and Medical Alley Association. Dr. Powell has been featured on several national and international news sources and outlets for her commentary on the impacts of racism on the health of Black and Brown people and communities, including Marie Claire, Politico, The Guardian, Huffington Post, BBC, CNBC, PBS NewsHour, NowThis, and Cheddar.