George A. Mensah, M.D., FACC, is a senior advisor in the Immediate Office of the Director at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In this position, Dr. Mensah leads an integrative, trans-Institute effort to advance the translation of scientific discoveries in heart, lung, and blood diseases research to clinical and public health practice nationally and globally. 

Dr. Mensah’s primary focus is in the application of implementation and systems science approaches to address research translation gaps in order to maximize health impact in the prevention and treatment of heart, lung, and blood diseases and the elimination of health inequities.

Dr. Mensah is a clinician-scientist trained in internal medicine and the subspecialty of cardiovascular diseases.  His professional experience includes 17 years of public service between the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  He has had management experience as a chief of cardiology; head of a clinical care department; and the Surgeon General’s nominee to the Board of Governors of the American College of Cardiology as governor for public health.

In addition to his public service at CDC, Dr. Mensah had 10 years of experience in direct patient care, teaching, and research at Vanderbilt University and the Medical College of Georgia (MCG).  He was a professor with tenure at MCG, director of the medical specialties practice at the MCG Hospitals & Clinics, and department head of cardiovascular care at the VA Medical Center in Augusta, Georgia. He holds a merit of proficiency from the American Society of Echocardiography and has been designated a “hypertension specialist” by the American Society of Hypertension.

At CDC, Dr. Mensah held several leadership positions over nine years, including the first chief of the Cardiovascular Health Branch; an interim center director; and chief medical officer at the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Most recently, he served as vice president for nutrition science within the global research and development unit of a major multinational food and beverage company. Dr. Mensah is adept at motivating and energizing local and global teams and fostering results-oriented strategy execution.  He excels at building partnerships with a variety of organizations.

Over the course of his career, Dr. Mensah has authored more than 400 manuscripts, abstracts, book chapters, and an atlas on heart disease and stroke published by the World Health Organization (WHO) and CDC.  He recently served as chairman of the Cardiovascular Expert Group of the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study.  This group of study collaborators is a consortium that includes Harvard University, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Queensland, and the WHO.  

Areas of expertise: cardiovascular medicine, public health science, health disparities research, and global health.

Director in the Press