Justin C. Smith

Justin Smith

Justin C. Smith, ’26
From: Atlanta, GA/Montclair, NJ
Degrees Held: MS, Emory University
MPH, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
AB, Brown University
Email: justin_smith@hsph.harvard.edu

Justin is a Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) student at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and has spent his career developing community-driven strategies to address the HIV epidemic and improve LGBTQI+ population health. As the Director of the Campaign to End AIDS at Positive Impact Health Centers in Atlanta, GA, he led the stakeholder engagement process and helped to develop and implement the Ending the HIV Epidemic (EHE) strategy for Metro Atlanta. Prior to joining Positive Impact Health Centers, Justin spent five years working in the Division of HIV Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where he implemented a new component of CDC’s HIV surveillance system that focused on young gay and bisexual men and developed HIV-related health equity indicators.

Justin has held high-level leadership positions as the co-chair of the Stigma and Disparities subcommittee of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) and as a White House Mpox Equity Workgroup member. In these roles, he offers recommendations to the U.S. government to help shape the national response to these public health challenges. He also served as co-chair of the Health Subcommittee of the Atlanta Mayor’s LGBTQ Advisory Board and holds leadership roles in several national coalitions that work to center racial equity in the HIV response.

In addition to authoring over 30 publications in the academic public health literature, Justin’s commentary and writing on issues at the intersections of public health, racial justice, sexuality, and popular culture have appeared in media outlets including The Washington Post, Propublica, CNN, NPR, WIRED, Capital B, The Daily Beast, Al-Jazeera, and CNP’s The Reckoning.

Justin holds an MS in Behavioral, Social, and Health Education Sciences from Emory University, an MPH in Health Behavior from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and an AB in Sociology and Community Health from Brown University. He looks forward to combining his previous experiences with his DrPH training to expand his capacity to be an effective systems-level change agent in the areas of HIV and LGBTQI+ health.

Student News and Publications

May 2024
Justin C. Smith, DrPH ’26
English, D., Oshin, L. A., Lopez, F. G., Smith, J. C., Busby, D. R., & Anestis, M. D. (2024). Systemic White supremacy: U.S. state policy, policing, discrimination, and suicidality across race and sexual identityJournal of Psychopathology and Clinical Science. Advance online publication

April 2024
Justin C. Smith, DrPH ’26
Justin was quoted in an article titled Racial disparities in treatment worsen HIV crisis in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

September 2023
Justin C. Smith, DrPH ’26
Wise A., Kianian B., Chang H.H., Linton S., Wolfe M.E., Smith J.C., Tempalski B., Des Jarlais D., Ross Z., Semaan S,. Wejnert C. (2023). Socioeconomic and racial/ethnic spatial polarization and incarceration among people who inject drugs in 19 US metropolitan areas, 2015. SSM-Population Health. Sep 1;23:101486.

Justin C. Smith, DrPH ’26 was mentioned in the article: The mobile application, iTHRIVE 365, is the first of its kind to provide psychological health resources, connections to economic support and a safe social space created by and for Black gay, bisexual and other same gender–loving men by Rutgers Health.

August 2023
Justin C. Smith, DrPH ’26
Stephens C., Smith J.C., Hawkins D.S. (2023). When my Brother Fell, I Picked Up His Weapons: Collective Remembrance as Community Mobilization among Black Gay, Bisexual, and Queer Men. Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved. 34(3):1-6.

Justin C. Smith, DrPH ’26 was mentioned in the article: Trump launched an ambitious effort to end HIV. House Republicans want to defund it by Health News from NPR.