Former U.S. Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona has joined the Board of Directors of Los Angeles-based Herbalife, the company announced Monday.
Dr. Carmona currently serves as the Professor of Public Health at the University of Arizona, and was the first Distinguished Professor of Health Promotion and Entrepreneurship at The Ohio State University. Prior to that, Dr. Carmona was appointed by President George W. Bush serving as Surgeon General from 2002 to 2006.
Dr. Carmona joins as an independent Director. With his appointment, Herbalife has increased the size of its Board to 12 members, nine of whom are independent. He serves on the boards of other public companies including The Clorox Company and Taser International, and works in leadership and advisory roles helping to create businesses in emerging science and technology.
"As a scientist and medical professional, I was first attracted by the depth and breadth of Herbalife's commitment to excellence in nutrition science," Dr. Carmona said in a press release. "As a business person, my due diligence showed me a company of integrity with a good business plan. As the son of poor emigrant parents, I am elated to see the opportunities Herbalife offers to families in health-disparate and economically underserved communities."
"Dr. Carmona has dedicated his life to improving the relationships among health, culture, education and economic status, and we are pleased to welcome him to Herbalife's Board of Directors," said Michael O. Johnson, chairman and chief executive officer of Herbalife, in a statement. "As a Surgeon General of the United States, a distinguished professor of public health, and an experienced business leader, Richard will be a tremendous addition to our Board. We look forward to leveraging his expertise in our ongoing initiative to ensure the nutritional benefits of all Herbalife products and our continued efforts to empower our distributors around the world."
Born to a poor Hispanic family in New York City, Dr. Carmona experienced homelessness, hunger, and health disparities during his youth. The experiences greatly sensitized him to the relationships among culture, health, education and economic status and shaped his future.
In 1967, Dr. Carmona enlisted in the U.S. Army and went on to become a combat-decorated Special Forces Vietnam veteran. After leaving active duty, he attended Bronx Community College of the City University of New York, where he received an associate's degree. He then attended the University of California, San Francisco, where he received a bachelor's degree (1977) and medical degree (1979). Trained in general and vascular surgery, Dr. Carmona also completed a National Institutes of Health-sponsored fellowship in trauma, burns, and critical care.
He went on to become the chairman of the State of Arizona Southern Regional Emergency Medical System, a professor of surgery, public health and family and community medicine at the University of Arizona, and the Pima County Sheriff's Department surgeon and deputy sheriff.
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