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Akila Ka Ma'at, PHD, CCPHC, CDIL (scientific dissemination name - Jennifer R. Warren)

Principal Interventionist and Health Research Consultant & Health Communication Expert

"When you leave this life make sure you followed your purpose and did something meaningful with it. Something that lifted the spirit of folks, even if it is just one person."


Dr. Ma'at is the Executive Director since 2017. Since taking taking a faculty positon at George Mason University, Dr. Ma'at into transition into the role of NCAAHDER's Principal Interventionist and Health Research Consultant and stands a national leader in research and programming addressing health disparities and inequities. She is the recipient of numerous honors and awards for her tireless work. She is a staunch health advocate and capacity builder for diverse, underserved, African American and vulnerable communities. Dr. Ma'at has been serving these communities for more than 24 years, including as Vice Chair of the Board of Commission at the Trenton Public Housing Authority. She organized and co-directed a Council on Black Women's Health and a Task Force on Housing & Health for Seniors living in assisted living. Most recently Dr. Ma'at became a member of the Public Health Education and Health Promotion's Learning and Development Subcommittee. The PHEP is a member section of the American Public Health Association.


Dr. Ma'at has more than 27 peer-reviewed publications (many represent CAAHDER research) and 54 scientific conference presentation (many represent CAAHDER research) based on health interventions, health promotion programs, and research in SocioBehavioral health and Health Communication. She is also a critical sociocultural scholar who deconstructs structural, institutional racism and systematic inequities that cause health disparities. Dr. Ma'at in unapologetic about her sole focus on the health and well-being of low-income African Americans who carry a disproportionate burden of health burdens due to structural inequities.

Dr. Ma'at conceives, tailors, and evaluates messages, content design, and delivery channels targeting health information, interventions, and programs low income African American communities. Se designs and delivers strategic instructional content for health professionals, researchers, medical students, and public health professionals. She is certified in Diversity and Inclusivity Leadership, Chronic Care Professional Health Coach, COVID-19 Infection and Prevention and Adverse Childhood Experiences. She is currently completing her MS in Mental Health Counseling.


Dr. Ma'at received her Ph.D from Penn State University, University Park and her BS and MA from New York University where she majored in Culture and Communication and minored in Anthropology. She went on to pursue a 3-year Postdoctoral Associateship at The Medical School at the University of Minnesota in the Program of Health Disparities Research with Director and mentor Kowale Okuyemi, MD, MPH, now at the University of Utah. Some of Dr.Ma'at's research projects, interventions, and programs include creating healthy workforce development, developing vocational health programs, online motivation to quit smoking, assessing the health, health behavior, and social determinants of health of low income Black senior and disabled persons and other assessments, research, and programs within and with low income Black communities: Tobacco use and exposure, Food insecurity, Healthy workforce development, Cardiovascular health, Health literacy, Internalized racial oppression, Use of virtual health resources