Dr. Leslie Walker-Harding is the Ford/Morgan Endowed Professor and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics as well as Associate Dean for the University of Washington. She is also the Chief Academic Officer and Senior Vice President for Seattle Children's Hospital.

Just prior to assuming her current role at the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s, Dr. Walker-Harding served as the Chair of Pediatrics and Medical Director at Penn State Children’s Hospital.  Before moving to the East Coast she spent 9 years at the University of Washington as the Division Chief of Adolescent Medicine and was the co-director for the Seattle Children’s Adolescent Substance Abuse Program (ASAP). She was also the Vice Chair of Faculty Development for the Department of Pediatrics. Her first faculty position after fellowship was at Georgetown University School of Medicine where she developed and led the Section of Adolescent Medicine. She has been dedicated to the health and wellbeing of children and adolescents for over 25 years, particularly in the area of prevention of adolescent substance use and promotion of healthy adolescent development. Her current focus is to raise awareness of and bring to national scale, evidence-based interventions to prevent substance use and mental health conditions in children and adolescents.

Her research has been focused on prevention of adolescent risk behaviors spanning adolescent and young adult substance abuse and depression to adolescent pregnancy prevention. Another local and national focus of hers has been equity and inclusion and leadership in our workforce of health providers to achieve excellence in healthcare and to eliminate health disparities.

She is a Past President of the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine and has served on numerous national boards.  Her service on national boards and local community projects is all aimed at improving the health and well-being of children, adolescents and young adults at a national and global level.  In 2021 Dr. Walker-Harding rotated off the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) national Committee on Substance Use and Prevention (COSUP) and the American Pediatric Society (APS) council where she was chair of the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion (CODI). She serves as the Co-chair of the Forum for Children’s Well Being: Promoting Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Health for Children and Youth in the National Academy of Science Engineering and Medicine. She is currently on the Association of Medical School Department of Pediatric Chairs (AMSPDC) council and co-chairs the AMSPDC Diversity Equity and Inclusion committee. She serves on the Leadership Council for Foundation for Drug Policy and on the Advisory Council Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute, at Brown University. She has appeared regularly on NPR and other local and national media outlets and documentaries, speaking most recently on medical school diversity recruitment and cannabis’s impact on youth, adolescent health issues and health care workforce diversity.

She grew up in San Jose, California and attended college at Stanford University and medical school at the University of Illinois. She then completed her pediatrics training at the University of Chicago and Adolescent Medicine specialty training at the University of California San Francisco. Her first position was developing the Adolescent Medicine program at Georgetown University.

She is married to Eldridge Harding and has a young adult daughter, Nicole Prothro, who lives in NY.

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