With a career spanning government, corporate, political, and nonprofit groups, Justin DeJong has proved he can succeed in any sector. He’s getting the opportunity to highlight that again in his current role at the American Medical Association (AMA), which he joined this past May. In this role, he will oversee a team responsible for traditional and new media, digital and social engagement, and the creation of content for the 165-year-old trade group’s website and other platforms.
Prior to joining the AMA, he served as director of public affairs for the US Department of Agriculture, where he oversaw media relations for the third-largest federal department. He led its communications strategy for four years, most notably heading up outreach for first lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative. DeJong played a vital role in helping to get the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, which sought to improve school meals, passed and implemented. He also led the marketing and media strategy to unveil MyPlate – the federal nutrition graphic that replaced the food pyramid – as well as the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. In crisis management mode, DeJong guided the federal response to mad cow disease, swine flu, bird flu, and other challenges.
His communications expertise also helped secure congressional passage of the Claims Settlement Act, which resolved claims of discrimination by black farmers against the department, and contract renegotiations with the crop insurance industry that achieved $6 billion in savings.
"The AMA was fortunate to attract such an experienced and proven communications professional as Justin," says Rodrigo Sierra, chief communications and marketing officer and SVP. "His leadership will be vital in helping advance AMA initiatives designed to create a better future for the nation’s physicians and medical students," he adds, "by leading partnerships to build the highquality and efficient healthcare delivery system the country deserves."