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Michael O'Donnell Bio

Michael O'Donnell


Michael P. O'Donnell, PhD, MBA, MPH

President and Editor in Chief

Dr. O’Donnell founded American Journal of Health Promotion in 1986 and has served as Editor in Chief since that time. He is supported by four associate editors in chief and several hundred editors and reviewers.  He also serves as Program Chair and Master of Ceremonies of the Annual Art and Science of Health Promotion Conference, which he launched in 1990.
Dr. O’Donnell has more than 30 years’ experience working directly with employers, health care organizations, government agencies, foundations, insurance companies and health promotion providers to develop new and refine existing health promotion programs and has served in leadership roles in four major health systems. 
He is also Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Health Promotion Advocates, a non-profit policy group created to integrate health promotion strategies into national policy. Health Promotion Advocates was successful in developing six provisions that became law as part of the Affordable Care Act. He has co-authored six books and workbooks, including Health Promotion in the Workplace, which was in continuous publication for 27 years, and more than 200 articles, book chapters and columns. He has presented more than 275 keynote and workshop presentations on six continents, served on boards and committees for 48 non-profit and for-profit organizations and received 13 national awards. His most recent awards are the Elizabeth Fries Health Education Award presented by the James F. and Sarah T. Fries Foundation, and the Bill Whitmer Leadership Award, presented by the Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO) and was presented with the Halbert L. Dunn Welness Award at the 2016 National Wellness Institute's Annual Conference.
He earned a PhD in Health Behavior from University of Michigan, an MBA in General Management and an MPH in Hospital Management, both from University of California, Berkeley, and an AB in psychobiology from Oberlin College. He attended high school and was later a Senior Fulbright Scholar and visiting professor in Seoul Korea.