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Ashani Johnson-Turbes

Pronouns: She/Her

Vice President
Ashani leads the Center on Equity Research and serves on NORC’s Diversity, Racial Equity, and Inclusion (DREI) Steering Committee.

Ashani is a vice president and first ever Director of NORC’s Center on Equity Research in The Bridge at NORC.

Ashani 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. Ashani 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.

Ashani 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, Ashani studied political science at the University of Chicago and Leiden University, and quantitative methods at the University of Michigan. She serves on the board of directors for BLKHLTH, the YWCA of Greater Atlanta, and the Research Committee for the Ad Council, and is vice president of the Society for Health Communication.

Project Contributions

Evaluating CDC’s Approaches to Enhancing Adult Immunization Uptake

A culturally responsive evaluation of CDC’s efforts to boost adult immunization uptake and advance equity


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Improving HIV Health Outcomes for Black Men Who Have Sex with Men

Evaluating clinical care and behavioral health support services for Black MSM with HIV


Health Resources and Services Administration

Evaluation Training and Technical Assistance Center (ETAC)

Evaluation training, TA, and rigorous evaluations for DoD sexual assault prevention activities


Department of Defense (DoD)

How Right Now / Qué Hacer Ahora

A communication initiative to increase people’s resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Foundation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention