Jylana L. Sheats, Ph.D., MPH, is an applied behavior scientist who joined the Aspen Institute in 2021 as a Civic Science Fellow within the Science & Society Program and was promoted to Associate Director of the Program in 2023. Described by colleagues as a boundary-spanner, she has leveraged her education, training, and experience to lead, shape, and innovate across public, private and non-profit sectors. As a result, Jylana has successfully designed and balances a career in both industry and academia— holding a faculty appointment at Tulane University School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine, enabling her to both address the complex interplay between individual, interpersonal, community, and societal factors that impact wellbeing; and help develop and advise the next generation of science and public health leaders. Her long-standing commitment to excellence and addressing the needs of diverse communities has been recognized by academic and industry standards. In addition to being published in journals such as the Journal of the American Medical Association and Preventive Medicine, Jylana is a 2016 National Institutes of Health (NIH) Building Innovative Research Careers in Women’s Health awardee and 2017 NIH Obesity and Health Disparities PRIDE (Programs to Increase Diversity among Individuals Engaged in Health-Related Research) scholar. She also received five leadership awards from Johnson & Johnson while on their Behavior Science and Advanced Analytics team. Vested in service and mentorship, Jylana has holds volunteer leadership positions with The Links, Incorporated (area level) and Climate Mental Health Network; and is a past executive board member for the Junior League of Greater Princeton and Girls, Inc. of Monroe County (Indiana). In 2023 Jylana was awarded the Indiana University-Bloomington School of Public Health Tony A. Mobley International Distinguished Alumni Award for alumni demonstrating outstanding personal and professional achievements in fostering the broad missions of public health.
Jylana is a graduate of Spelman College (B.A., Psychology), Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine (M.P.H., Nutrition), and Indiana University – Bloomington School of Public Health (Doctorate, Health Behavior, Public Affairs). She received post-doctoral training at Stanford School of Medicine (Behavioral Medicine) with a focus on designing digital health behavior change interventions for historically marginalized and underserved populations.