JudyAnn Bigby

Executive Director, South Africa Partners

Dr. JudyAnn Bigby is the Executive Director of South Africa Partners. South Africa Partners, emerging from an antiapartheid organization, connects US and South Africa organizations and resources to incubate, pilot, test and sustain emerging solutions to health and early childhood education challenges in South Africa. Dr. Bigby is a former senior fellow at Mathematica Policy Research where her work focused on evaluation of health policies especially in Medicaid and public health and providing technical assistance to states to improve the quality of care. As a practicing physician, public health advocate, government employee, and policy maker, Bigby has dedicated her career to advancing health care for the most vulnerable populations focusing primarily on the health of minority women and their families and on access to comprehensive health care. Appointed by Governor Deval Patrick, she served as Secretary of Health and Human Services for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from 2007 through January 2013 and was responsible for implementing many of the aspects of the 2006 Massachusetts health care reform law.  Prior to her appointment as Secretary, she served as the Director of Community Health Programs at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and as the Director of the Center of Excellence in Women’s Health at Harvard Medical School in Boston. Much of her work focused on eliminating health disparities among low-income and minority women through the redesign of clinical programs, education of health professionals, and community partnerships.

She is a trustee of Wellesley College. She was an inaugural appointee to the President Obama’s Advisory Committee on Prevention, Pubic Health and Integrative Care a committee established in the Affordable Care Act to advise on a national prevention strategy. 

She is a graduate of Wellesley College and Harvard Medical School and holds honorary degrees from Lesley University, Pine Manor College, and New England School of Law. She has two grown children and lives in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts.