Faculty Expert Profile

Joshua Sharfstein

  • Professor of the Practice in Health Policy and Management
  • Vice Dean for Public Health Practice and Community Engagement, Bloomberg School of Public Health


  • Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • Bloomberg American Health Initiative
  • Center for Drug Safety and Effectiveness
  • Center for Population Health Information Technology (CPHIT)
  • School of Medicine

Languages spoken

  • English
  • Spanish

Joshua Sharfstein frequently writes and comments on a wide range of issues, including rebuilding public health infrastructure, responding to crises, improving health care payment, and reducing addiction and overdose. He directs the Bloomberg American Health Initiative, a national effort to address violence, environmental challenges, adolescent health, the food system, and addiction.

Sharfstein co-hosts the Public Health On Call podcast, which was created in the early days of COVID-19 to make credible, scientific expertise accessible to the public in quick, clear, and informative conversations. He is the co-author of "The Opioid Epidemic: What Everyone Needs to Know" (Oxford University Press, 2019) and is the author of 2018's "The Public Health Crisis Survival Guide," a look at how to improve leadership in trying times.

Previously, Sharfstein served as the Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; the Principal Deputy Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration; Commissioner of Health for Baltimore City; and health policy advisor for Congressman Henry A. Waxman.

Recent coverage

Hub coverage

What to know about omicron subvariant BA.2
Published March 23, 2022
Even as BA.2 and "deltacron" set off feelings of panic or exhaustion, vaccinations and boosters continue to provide the best protection against severe disease, says Johns Hopkins immunologist Andy Pekosz
Neglected schools, suffering students
Published April 29, 2022
Researchers unveil study findings that highlight the experiences of Baltimore City Public School students and the deteriorating conditions of school buildings during symposium
Public Health
Report advises on state and local spending of opioid litigation settlement funds
Published Jan 27, 2021
Guidelines call for states and local governments to focus on addiction treatment and prevention and to avoid diverting funds to close budget gaps
What it will take to safely reopen K-12 schools this fall
Published June 3, 2020
Public health expert Josh Sharfstein and education expert Christopher Morphew say school closures have led to growing public health crises for children such as hunger and a lack of health services

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