Rutgers–Camden Appoints New Director of the Senator Walter Rand Institute for Public Affairs

Mavis Asiedu-Frimpong to focus on recovery and resilience in a post-pandemic New Jersey

Feb. 15, 2022

By Alina O’Donnell

Rutgers University–Camden announces the appointment of Mavis Asiedu-Frimpong as director of the Senator Walter Rand Institute for Public Affairs (WRI). Bringing extensive knowledge of the public health and health care landscapes and a passion for social justice, she will focus on risk and resilience in New Jersey in response to COVID-19.

“We are extremely excited to welcome Mavis to our campus as director of the WRI,” says Vice Chancellor for Research Benedetto Piccoli. “She brings unique expertise and vision to increase the impact of the WRI at Rutgers-Camden, and in the public policy and public health arena of southern New Jersey.”

Born in the United States, Asiedu-Frimpong moved to Accra, Ghana when she was 13 years old, where she spent the remainder of her childhood. She said that witnessing the country’s extreme juxtaposition of wealth and need ignited her interest in public policy for social change and shaped her career goals. After finishing her undergraduate education at Brown University, she attended Stanford Law School, where she received her Juris Doctor degree, followed by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where she received her master’s in public health.

In her new role as director of the WRI, Asiedu-Frimpong will focus on resilience-building in the wake of COVID-19 and its disproportionate impact on Black and Brown communities in the region. She will examine recovery efforts and develop new plans to close critical gaps in care and promote equitable services and resources for the community. 

“The devastating impact of the pandemic has highlighted a lot of things that we need to look more closely at and be more conscious of,” she said. “The public health sector plays a crucial and important role in maintaining good health across communities and regions. We need to think about shoring up and supporting that sector in the post-pandemic world.”

Asiedu-Frimpong joins Rutgers–Camden from the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics at the University of Pennsylvania. As director of strategic initiatives, she paved partnerships and worked within complex systems to advance effective and efficient health care for populations in need. Prior to that, she was director of content development and communications at the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, where she led and executed content development, worked with leadership to amplify the coalition’s work and expanded its community of providers.

Asiedu-Frimpong said she looks forward to serving as a steward of the Institute’s mission to improve lives and communities in South Jersey.

“My first order of business will be to maintain the great work the institute is doing,” she said. “The really special thing about Rutgers–Camden and the institute is that they see themselves as strong community partners and understand that they have a role to play in supporting the community and achieving its goals.”

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