Dawn M. Hunter, an attorney who also holds a master’s in public health, recently joined the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg as senior director of policy, strategy and legal services. In her new role, she is responsible for advancing the mission to achieve health equity by addressing the social and structural disadvantages that create health disparities. Dawn’s primary activities include overseeing research, establishing a data-driven policy program, developing an advocacy program, and guiding strategic direction and organizational planning. Dawn also provides legal advice on business issues and company strategies.
Dawn most recently served at the New Mexico Department of Health, where she started as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation visiting attorney in public health law, and later served in other roles, including director of health equity, policy director and deputy cabinet secretary. During her tenure, she led a variety of initiatives to address health system innovation and meeting the unique needs of New Mexico’s rural and underserved communities through collaboration and partnership. Some of her core responsibilities included managing the department’s legislative and policy activities, as well as strategic planning, performance management and workforce development.
Dawn started her career in child protective services in Hillsborough County, Florida. She later transitioned into research and development as a microbiologist at the University of South Florida, Center for Biological Defense, with a focus on rapid detection methods for food and waterborne pathogens. In her free time, Dawn enjoys hiking, yoga and trying out new recipes.