John O. Agwunobi

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John O. Agwunobi
John O Agwunobi.jpg
Admiral John O. Agwunobi, USPHS
Assistant Secretary for Health
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps
Years of service 2005–2007
Rank Admiral
Commands held Assistant Secretary for Health
United States Public Health Service
Awards Public Health Service Regular Corps Ribbon
Other work Republican

John O. Agwunobi is a pediatrician and a former US government official and business executive.[1] His experience includes clinical care, managed care, healthy policy, state and federal public health, retail pharmacy operations and optical service delivery. He was formerly Senior Vice President of Walmart Stores, Inc. and President of the retailer's $30 billion Health and Wellness business from 2007 to 2014.[2] At Walmart, Agwunobi was responsible for a chain of 4,000 retail, specialty and mail order pharmacies; more than 2,500 vision centers and 100 in-store convenient care clinics; and a pharmacy benefits management unit.

Early life

Agwunobi was born in Dundee, Scotland to a Nigerian father—a British-trained physician—and Scottish mother. As a teen, Agwunobi's family moved to Nigeria, where he attended high school and university. He received his medical training at the University of Jos, where his father was a professor of medicine.


Prior to his service in the federal government, Agwunobi served as Florida's Secretary of Health under Governor Jeb Bush from 2000 to 2005. He led Florida's public health response to four major hurricanes that struck the state in 2004. In addition, Agwunobi led the Department's response to the nation's first anthrax attack, subsequently guiding the state's nationally recognized efforts to prepare for, prevent and mitigate the effects of a bioterrorism attack.

Agwunobi served as the 12th Assistant Secretary for Health (ASH) from December 17, 2005 to September 4, 2007.[3] During his term as the ASH, he was a member of the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, a uniformed service, and held the rank of four-star admiral. His responsibilities included disease prevention, health promotion, the reduction of health disparities, the fight against HIV/AIDS, pandemic influenza planning and vaccine-preventable disease. As the ASH, Agwunobi oversaw the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General, Centers for Disease Control, National Institutes of Health, the FDA, HRSA, Indian Health Service, Office of Minority Health, as well as numerous other Public Health offices and programs. He also served as the U.S. representative on the World Health Organization executive board.

Agwunobi serves as Vice Chair of the U.S. African Development Foundation,[4] a federal agency dedicated to fighting poverty in marginalized populations on the African continent. He is a Board Advisor to Shopko, a Specialty Retail Stores Holding Corp. in Green Bay, Wisconsin; Board Director for Magellan Health Services Inc.[5] of Scottsdale, Arizona; and Member "Future" Panel of Leavitt Partners LLC, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Agwunobi has a master's in public health from Johns Hopkins University, a master of business administration from Georgetown University, and a certification as a Managed Care Executive from the American Association of Health Plans (AAHP). He completed his pediatric residency at Howard University Hospital in Washington, DC, rotating between Children's National Medical Center and the District of Columbia General Hospital.[citation needed]

Agwunobi has received honors and awards including Public Administrator of the Year, APHA Public Health Hero Citation, and Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters. He served as Chair of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Committee to the Director, and on the Board of Directors of the National Quality Forum—an advisory group formed at the recommendation of the President's Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Health Care Industry.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Admiral John O. Agwunobi". Retrieved 2015-12-29.
  2. ^ "Dr. John Agwunobi to join Wal-Mart as Senior Vice President and President for the Professional Services Division". Retrieved 2017-12-22.
  3. ^ "Admiral John O. Agwunobi". Retrieved 2017-12-22.
  4. ^ "Squarespace - Claim This Domain". Retrieved 2017-12-22.
  5. ^ "Dr. John O. Agwunobi Appointed to Magellan Health Board of Directors (NASDAQ:MGLN)". Retrieved 2017-12-22.

External links

  • White House bio of Agwunobi
  • Appearances on C-SPAN
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