Shanta Whitaker

Cues and Views

Health disparities and public health policy expert Shanta Whitaker, in brief.

March 20, 2022
2 Minutes
Shanta Whitaker

Home: Washington, DC.  Age: Older than I look.  Profession: Government affairs.  Organization: Venn Strategies.  Title: Senior Vice President.  Significant other: My husband, Jeff.  Alma mater: Virginia Union University (BS); Yale University (MPhil, PhD); Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (MPH).

Current project: Wrapping up a creative writing course.  Recent professional development: Joining CHIEF.  What’s been your big (or biggest) leap? Leaving the laboratory bench to pursue a public health career.  Hobbies: Traveling, reading, cooking.  Last book read: Can’t Hurt Me, by David Goggins.

Moral compass: Intuition and prayer.  How do you define a perfect friendship? Reciprocal. What is your guilty pleasure? Period pieces.  What is your go-to workout? Peloton.

What movie have you repeatedly watched? Under the Tuscan Sun.  What’s featured prominently on your home or office wall? My vision board.  Who has had the greatest influence on your life? My mother (RIP).  What is the best advice you received growing up? Make sure you can afford the things you want in your life.  What is the best advice you received in your career? Let your passion fuel your purpose.

What change are you working on to effect in your profession or field?

I want to ensure that all Americans are physically, mentally, and socially healthy.

What change would you like to see in  the world? Greater compassion and empathy.

Who would you like to spend an evening with, in heaven? My father.  As a kid, what did you first want to be when you grew up? A lawyer.  What advice would you give your younger self? Don’t try to please people and just be yourself.  Those who are meant to be in your life will be. What day in your life would you like to re-live? My PhD graduation.

Personal mission: To be the best “Shanta” I can be.  Personal motto: It’s already alright. Favorite quote: "A bend in the road is not the end of the road... unless you fail to make the turn" (Helen Keller).

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