John Auer­bach, a nation­ally known expert in public health­care and civic lead­er­ship, has been named the new director of the Insti­tute on Urban Health Research in the Bouvé Col­lege of Health Sci­ences at North­eastern University.

Auer­bach will join North­eastern in November and hold an appoint­ment as a Dis­tin­guished Pro­fessor of Prac­tice in the college’s Depart­ment of Health Sciences.

We know John’s impact will be felt across the uni­ver­sity and the national public health com­mu­nity as we con­tinue to gen­erate and dis­sem­i­nate new knowl­edge related to pro­viding humane, quality and equi­table health­care for our nation,” said Terry Fulmer, dean of Bouvé.

Auer­bach brings more than 30 years of expe­ri­ence to the North­eastern com­mu­nity, including over­sight of gov­ern­ment agen­cies, health­care facil­i­ties and non­profit boards. His lead­er­ship has been instru­mental in gov­ern­ment policy-​​setting at the local, state and fed­eral levels.

As the director of the Insti­tute on Urban Health Research, I look for­ward to applying my years of expe­ri­ence in gov­ern­ment and policy devel­op­ment to the arenas of teaching and research. I will con­tinue to pursue the Institute’s excel­lent work on behav­ioral health and the elim­i­na­tion of health dis­par­i­ties,” said Auerbach. “I also believe there are emerging health issues — such as those related to health­care reform and to the linkage of pop­u­la­tion health with clin­ical care — that present new, exciting lead­er­ship oppor­tu­ni­ties for the university.”

For the last five years, Auer­bach has served as the com­mis­sioner of the Mass­a­chu­setts Depart­ment of Public Health, working as a senior health policy adviser to Gov. Deval Patrick and over­seeing the organization’s $800 mil­lion budget.

From 1998 to 2007, Auer­bach served as the exec­u­tive director of the Boston Public Health Com­mis­sion, the oldest health depart­ment in the United States. Among his many accom­plish­ments in this role, Auer­bach cre­ated a new set of health pri­or­i­ties for the city of Boston, including con­ceiving and estab­lishing pro­grams addressing asthma, dia­betes and cancer pre­ven­tion and the elim­i­na­tion of racial and ethnic disparities.

Auer­bach has received sev­eral awards throughout his accom­plished career. In 2008, for example, he received the Ruth Batson Social Jus­tice Award from Har­vard Med­ical School for his com­mit­ment to social jus­tice, civic engage­ment and com­mu­nity building.

He earned a master’s degree in busi­ness admin­is­tra­tion with a con­cen­tra­tion in health­care admin­is­tra­tion from the Boston Uni­ver­sity School of Man­age­ment and a bachelor’s degree in his­tory from Clark University.

Auer­bach will suc­ceed Hort­ensia Amaro, the former director of the Insti­tute on Urban Health Research, who left North­eastern in August after 11 years of ser­vice to the university.

The insti­tute is devoted to knowl­edge dis­covery and its prac­tical appli­ca­tion to improve per­sonal and public health within urban com­mu­ni­ties. It’s par­tic­u­larly focused on under­standing the social and envi­ron­mental con­di­tions of urban living in order to inform public health inter­ven­tion strate­gies, poli­cies and pro­fes­sional training.

The Bouvé Col­lege of Health Sci­ences is a center of excel­lence in health edu­ca­tion, research and ser­vice. The col­lege offers under­grad­uate and grad­uate pro­grams with an inter­dis­ci­pli­nary emphasis that reflects today’s inte­grated approach to healthcare.