Dr. Ashani Johnson-Turbes is the Vice President and Director of the Center on Equity Research in NORC’s Academic Research Centers. She is an experienced and award-winning social scientist with over 20 years of conducting communication, social marketing, public health, and public policy research. She blends her academic background in political science focused on participatory democracy, stakeholder engagement, and democratic deliberation with years of work in public health, health communication, and evaluation. Johnson-Turbes’s expertise includes conducting equitable and inclusive research, Culturally Responsive Evaluation (CRE), and health equity promotion. She serves on the Board of the YWCA of Greater Atlanta, is Strategic Advisor for the Bright Pink Venture Philanthropy Fund, and is Vice President of the Society for Health Communication.
Johnson-Turbes led Public Policy Research and Monitoring for McDonald’s Government Public Policy and Government Relations Center of Excellence (COE). She also served as Director of Performance & Intelligence Team for McDonald’s Global Impact Team, Communication COE to strengthen brand trust and reputation. Johnson-Turbes was formerly a Principal Scientist in the Public Health Division at NORC @ the University of Chicago, served on NORC Diversity Racial Equity and Inclusion (DREI) committee, and was a Technical Director and Health Communication Domain Expert at ICF International. Johnson-Turbes has directed studies on topics including sustainable packaging, reputational risk, gender pay equality, company brand trust, perceptions of COVID-19 mitigation practices, COVID-19 and emotional/mental health, HIV/AIDS, prenatal maternal health, breastfeeding, opioid use/misuse, antibiotic resistance, breast cancer, gynecologic cancer, emergency preparedness, and brain health for organizations including the CDC, HRSA, ACS, NAACP, Gilead Sciences, McDonald’s, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Johnson-Turbes earned her BA at Hampton University. She earned her MA and Ph.D. at Purdue University. She has continued her studies in Political Science and Quantitative Methods at Leiden University in the Netherlands and at the University of Chicago.