Former Centers for Disease Control specialist to head obesity research institute

Media Credit: William H. Dietz will take over as new director of the Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness at the Milken Institute School of Public Health. Photo courtesy of Kathleen Fackelmann

William H. Dietz will take over as new director of the Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness at the Milken Institute School of Public Health. Photo courtesy of Kathleen Fackelmann

GW named a former Centers for Disease Control official to steer the obesity and prevention research institute created as part of the largest gift in the University’s history.

William H. Dietz will take over as new director of the Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness at the Milken Institute School of Public Health. Photo courtesy of Kathleen Fackelmann
William H. Dietz will take over as new director of the Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness at the Milken Institute School of Public Health. Photo courtesy of Kathleen Fackelmann

William Dietz will head the Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness, bringing with him 15 years of experience as the director of the Centers for Disease Control’s nutrition and obesity operation. The appointment comes after officials secured a combined $80 million gift to fund public health scholarships, positions and research this month.

“I look forward to developing strategies that can take us to the next level in keeping people healthy and fit—right from the start,” Dietz told the Washington Business Journal.

Dietz served on the team that published the 1998 Clinical Guidelines on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity, which altered the way Americans think about obesity. He is also a member of the Institute of Medicine.

Media mogul Sumner Redstone’s foundation donated $30 million to create the center. Redstone, who is the majority owner of Viacom, was given an honorary degree from GW in 2006.

The Milken Institute, the economic think tank founded by notorious Wall Street executive Michael Milken, donated $40 million to name the public health school. The Milken Family Foundation also gave $10 million to endow the dean’s position and fund scholarships.

Michael Milken and Redstone both survived prostate cancer, and have since funded large gifts towards medical research together.

This story was updated March 26 to reflect the following correction:
On first reference, The Hatchet misspelled William Dietz’ last name. We regret this error.

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