Dr. Mary Travis Bassett was appointed commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in January 2014. Her focus is on ensuring that every New York City neighborhood supports the health of its residents, with the goal of closing gaps in population health across the diverse city. Additionally, she promotes continued use of innovative policy tools to reduce tobacco use, unhealthy food consumption, and lack of physical activity that together drive contemporary mortality patterns. Originally from New York City, Dr. Bassett lived in Zimbabwe for nearly 20 years. Previously, she was the Program Director for the African Health Initiative and the Child Well-being Program at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. She received her B.A. in History and Science from Harvard University and her M.D. from Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. She served her medical residency at Harlem Hospital Center, and has a master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Washington, where she was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar.