Ashani Johnson-Turbes

Ashani Johnson-Turbes is a vice president and first ever Director of NORC’s Center on Equity Research in NORC’s Academic Research Centers at the University of Chicago. Johnson-Turbes leads the Center on Equity Research and serves on NORC’s Diversity, Racial Equity, and Inclusion (DREI) Steering Committee.

Johnson-Turbes is an experienced and award-winning social scientist with over 20 years conducting health communication, social marketing, public health, and public policy research, including rigorous evaluation of communication messages, campaigns, and initiatives to promote health equity. She blends her academic background in political science, political behavior, and public policy with years of work in health policy, public health, health marketing, communication, and evaluation. Johnson-Turbes has expertise in participatory and deliberative models for engagement, research with historically marginalized and minoritized populations, health disparities, culturally responsive research and evaluation, and qualitative and mixed methods. She has presented her work at national conferences and is published in peer reviewed journals. Her decades long research to center culture and advance equity reflects her commitment to servant leadership.

Johnson-Turbes returns to NORC after working at McDonald’s where she served as the Global Impact Team, Director of Public Policy Research and Monitoring, in the Global Public Policy and Government Relations Center of Excellence. At McDonald’s, she led strategic planning to build McDonald’s public policy research function and served as advisor and thought partner to cross-functional, company teams leading McDonald’s Diversity Equity Inclusion, Environmental Sustainability, and Community Connection activities. While at McDonald’s she also served as the Director of Performance & Intelligence leading social and traditional media monitoring and analysis, reputational risk research, and campaign monitoring and measurement.

In addition to holding degrees from Hampton and Purdue University, Johnson-Turbes studied political science at the University of Chicago and Leiden University, and quantitative methods at the University of Michigan. She serves on Research Committee for the Ad Council, Board of the YWCA of Greater Atlanta, and is vice president of the Society for Health Communication.