Anna L. Davis
Health Policy Director
Advocates for Children and Youth
After earning her law degree at the University of Maryland School of Law, Ann Davis spent nearly 20 years building a successful family law practice.
But about 10 years ago, she gave up family law and earned her Master of Public Health at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Since then, she has crafted a second successful career as a public health expert.
Davis stayed on at Bloomberg after she got her degree and eventually helped create and then teach at the school’s Clinic for Public Health Law and Policy. The program was a first-of-its-kind course in the country at a school of public health.
Students at the clinic, Davis said, are taught how to create legal and policy interventions to solve “real, current and compelling public health problems.” But their work is more than just a class project. The student’s information and strategies are passed on to policy-makers, advocates and public health practitioners.
The clinic, for example, was the first to notify the Federal Food and Drug Administration about the large amounts of caffeine in snack foods, packaged breakfasts and candy marketed to children.
Clinic students also drafted a model law on the use of “smart guns” to cut down on gun violence. The proposal was distributed to governors and big city mayors throughout the country by then-Vice President Joe Biden at a White House summit on gun violence, and a version of it is making its way through the New Jersey legislature.
Davis also is health policy director for Advocates for Children and Youth, a Baltimore organization that advocates and offers policy advice aimed at improving the lives of Maryland children.
In that role, Davis led an effort to secure dental benefits for older foster care youths in Maryland under the Affordable Care Act, getting the cutoff age raised from 21 to 26.
Also in that role, Davis has served as a mentor to student interns. In one instance, she and a student created a pilot program to reduce tardiness and chronic absenteeism among high school students.
“I get great satisfaction from working with students and take pride in the contributions they have been able to make in the community and policy sphere,” Davis said.
In 2017, Gov. Larry Hogan appointed Davis to the Lead Poisoning Prevention Commission. She also was recently appointed to the Standing Advisory Committee of the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange.
Davis is deeply involved with the Jewish Women’s Giving Foundation, a philanthropic program of the Associated Jewish Charities that promotes social change by addressing the challenges facing women and girls in Baltimore and around the world.
Davis “has chosen a unique and dynamic way to make her mark in the legal community,” said Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, a professor and associate dean in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “Her commitment is inspiring to those around her and dedication to improving the lives of vulnerable children and adults reflects well on all her colleagues.”