Dr. Joe Smyser is the CEO of The Public Good Projects (PGP), a nonprofit organization that designs and implements large-scale behavior change programs for the public good. PGP selects its work based on three criteria: will it advanced public health, will it create change at a large scale, and will it be rigorously evaluated. PGP has designed several opioid awareness campaigns to date, three research studies with Google, Facebook, and The National Academies, and manages a national disease surveillance system monitoring the opioid epidemic.
PGP’s board includes executives from Pepsi, Levi-Strauss, the Ad Council, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Sesame Street, Campbell’s, Discovery Communications, and Burson Cohn & Wolfe.
Dr. Smyser's academic background is in public health; he has a PhD and masters in public health with an emphasis in health communication, and completed his postdoc at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through its Evaluation Fellowship.
In parallel to academia Dr. Smyser has worked in both the public and private sectors, designing behavior change programs and social marketing campaigns. Dr. Smyser has designed the core strategies for several of the United States’ largest behavior change campaigns.
Dr. Smyser is an advocate for leveraging the tools and techniques of private industry for public health, "out of the box" public-private partnerships, and fostering private industry innovation for the public good.