The International Society for Urban Health is a program of the New York Academy of Medicine, whose mission is to advance the health and well-being of people living in cities. The Academy serves as the ISUH Secretariat, providing leadership, program management and administrative support to advance knowledge sharing and collaboration for ISUH.

More information about The New York Academy of Medicine is available here:


Yonette F. Thomas, PhD - Executive Director

Dr. Yonette F. Thomas is Executive Director of the International Society for Urban Health.  She is a founding board member of the ISUH and has served as a science advisor for urban health to the New York Academy of Medicine.

She is a founding board member and former vice president of the Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Science (IAPHS) and served on the Steering Committee of the National Hispanic Science Network on Drug Abuse for more than a decade.  She is a faculty affiliate of the Maryland Population Research Center at the University of Maryland College Park and has served a voluntary associate professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.  She formerly served as the Associate Vice President for Research Compliance at Howard University.

Previously she served as the chief of the Epidemiology Research Branch and program director for the social epidemiology program at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health. She has held faculty appointments in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and in the School of Pharmacy at Howard University. She is a member of the
Consortium of Social Science Associations Advisory Committee and served on the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Revisions to the Common Rule for the Protection of Human Subjects in Research in the Behavioral and Social Sciences. Her primary research and publications have focused on the social epidemiology of drug abuse and HIV/AIDS and the link with geography, including edited volumes: Geography and Drug Addiction, Crime, HIV, and Health: intersections of Criminal Justice and Public Health Concerns.

She has a Ph.D. in medical sociology and demography, with post graduate training in epidemiology.


Gerard P. Lebeda - Program Director

Gerard Lebeda has rejoined the Academy as Program Director of the International Society for Urban Health. Previously, Gerard was Deputy Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholars, a program he led for 13 years. Mr. Lebeda served on the founding Board of Directors for the Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Science (IAPHS), a DC-based organization aimed at improving the health of populations through science and innovation. Prior to his work on the Health & Society Scholars program, Gerard worked as a Convention/Meeting Planner for Medical World Communications in Jamesburg, NJ and as an Office Coordinator at the Medical Center at Princeton in Princeton, NJ.

Ms Joyati Das - Program Director (HCA)

The Botnar Healthy Cities for Adolescents Program

Ms Joyati Das is the Program Director appointed for the BOTNAR Healthy Cities for Adolescents Program. She is a senior international development professional, thought leader and human rights advocate with specialization in child rights and urbanisation issues. Holding master degrees in Sociology and Communications, Joyati brings more than 20 years of experience in humanitarian response and multi-regional development program management, generating evidence to strengthen urban practice, development theory and research, strategy and policy. Her area of interest and research includes issues such as migration, mobility, conflict and climate refugees, governance, security of tenure and public space, secondary cities, education, protection, health and well-being that links to liveability.

Joyati is the elected co-chair of General Assembly of Partners (GAP), a stakeholder engagement platform set up to promote SDGs and the New Urban Agenda. Having served on several UN platforms representing young people’s issues for Habitat III, she has contributed to several media and journal articles promoting social justice, equity and the rights of young people. For more information, please visit

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ISUH is the only global professional organization in the world that focuses exclusively on the broad determinants of urban health. Your membership can help us develop and sustain ISUH as an independent voice of our global, transdisciplinary members and strategic partners for health equity in urban settings.