Dr. Barbara Ferrer

Director, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health


Dr. Barbara Ferrer is a nationally-known public health leader with over 30 years of professional experience as a philanthropic strategist, educational leader, researcher, community advocate, and public health director.

Currently, Dr. Ferrer is the Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, which protects health, prevents disease, and promotes equity and well-being among LA County’s more than 10 million residents. She oversees a budget of over $1.3 billion, directs a multidisciplinary workforce of nearly 5,000 staff, and works to integrate services alongside her LA County Health Agency colleagues at the Departments of Health Services and Mental Health.

Most recently, Dr. Ferrer served as the Chief Strategy Officer for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Prior to that, Dr. Ferrer was the Executive Director of the Boston Public Health Commission. Under her leadership, the City of Boston saw significant improvements in health outcomes, including a decrease in the rates of childhood obesity, smoking, and infant mortality.

Dr. Ferrer also held various leadership positions at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, including Director of Health Promotion & Chronic Disease Prevention, and Director of the Division of Maternal & Child Health. She has also served as a Headmaster at a district high school in Boston.

Dr. Ferrer received her Ph.D. in Social Welfare from Brandeis University, a Master of Arts in Public Health from Boston University, a Master of Arts in Education from the University of Massachusetts, Boston, and a Bachelor of Arts in Community Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Arlene Washington