About Bill Potts-Datema

William (Bill) Potts-Datema serves as Acting Senior Advisor of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Adolescent and School Health. He previously served for 6.5 years as chief of program development branches for the Division of Community Health and Division of Adolescent and School Health at CDC. In both program positions, he supervised public health grantmaking to U.S. states, large cities, and territories; tribal governments; and national non-governmental organizations.

Bill has worked in education and public health for 32 years including service from local to international levels. He moved to CDC from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts, where he served as Director of Partnerships for Children’s Health and project manager for the Harvard Prevention Research Center from 2001 through 2005. He served as Executive Director of the Society of State Leaders of Health and Physical Education in Washington, DC from 1998 through 2001.

Bill has held several national leadership positions including chair of the national board of Action for Healthy Kids and expert consultant to the National Coordinating Committee on School Health and Safety. He is a Global Executive Board member and Regional Vice-President for North America for the International Union for Health Promotion and Education. Bill is a former member of the national boards of the National Parent-Teacher Association (PTA), American Association for Health Education (AAHE), and American School Health Association (ASHA). He served as a member of the Nutrition and Physical Activity Work Group of CDC’s Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity from 1999-2005. 

He received the CDC-DASH Director’s Leadership Award (2001) and ASHA’s Distinguished Service Award (2005) among other honors. He is a fellow of the American Association for Health Education and the American School Health Association.

As a vigorous advocate for adolescent and school health programs, Bill has served in several roles including founding coordinator of the Friends of School Health coalition of over 60 national organizations, founding steering committee member for the National Alliance for Nutrition and Activity, and chair of the Advocacy Committee of ASHA. He has testified before Congressional committees and panels of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.

Bill holds Master of Science and Bachelor of Science in Education degrees from Missouri State University, and he has completed other graduate coursework at the Harvard School of Public Health and Kennedy School of Government. He is currently a student in the Doctor of Public Health program at the University of Georgia. He has presented in 48 U.S. states and ten other nations, and he has authored and contributed to a number of publications.