Vital Strategies, Inc.

We envision a world where everyone is protected by a strong public health system.

New York, NY   |


Vital Strategies helps governments strengthen their public health systems to contend with the most important and difficult health challenges. We design solutions that can scale rapidly and improve the lives of millions of people. Our mission is to work in partnership to reimagine evidence-based, locally driven policies and practices to advance public health.

Ruling year info



Mr Jose Luis Castro

Main address

100 Broadway 4th Floor

New York, NY 10005 USA

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Formerly known as




NTEE code info

Lung (G45)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (U01)

Management & Technical Assistance (E02)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Vital Strategies aims to address inequalities and inefficiencies in public health, and to work in partnership with local authorities to implement polices and practices to advance public health.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Air Pollution and health

More than five million people die every year because of poor air quality. This burden falls disproportionately on vulnerable populations, especially women and children living without access to clean household energy, and people living in low- and middle-income countries where urbanization has brought increased emissions from heavy industry and motorized transport, outpacing air pollution control measures.

To address this global issue, Vital Strategies provides technical expertise and consultative services to inform policies and influence public discourse around air pollution and its health impacts around the world. As part of our efforts to address the disparate impact of air pollution on vulnerable populations, we work with governments to analyze age-, sex-, and geography-specific health outcomes.

Population(s) Served

The Data for Health Initiative is a global effort supported by  Bloomberg Philanthropies with additional support from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Initiative provides technical and financial assistance to low- and middle-income countries worldwide to improve public health data.

Vital Strategies serves as an implementing partner in the Initiative, with several programs related specifically to data improvement and public health intelligence: The Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) Program assists governments in strengthening their systems for counting every birth and death and for monitoring the causes of death; the Data Impact Program supports governments to maximize the use of data to enhance public health policymaking and decision-making; the Cancer Registries Program provides assistance to governments in establishing and strengthening population-based cancer registries.

Population(s) Served

The crisis of overdose is affecting US communities everywhere. Progress against the still rising rates will require leadership across levels of government, and from communities, providers, institutions, and advocates. Leadership must include people who use drugs.

We strive to promote innovation, improve quality, build scale, and ensure sustainability, grounded in data and evidence, and focused on racial equity. Our approach is multidisciplinary, inclusive, and responsive to local conditions.

As momentum grows for a health-based response to drug use, overdose has risen sharply in Black and Latinx communities. Progress must address the collateral consequences of drug use criminalization in communities of color.

Population(s) Served

Tobacco could kill one billion people this century, yet the tobacco industry aggressively markets to children, promotes pseudoscience to confuse, and lobbies against effective policies to reduce smoking and protect health.

As a partner in the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use, Vital Strategies supports the adoption of lifesaving policies that reach hundreds of millions of people around the world. Since 2007, we have worked with 41 countries to deliver evidence-based population-level campaigns and build local capacity to raise awareness about the dangers of tobacco. Our campaigns encourage quitting, delay initiation and support policy goals, such as smoke-free environments and tobacco tax increases. Over the long term, this helps to change behaviors around the acceptability of smoking and attitudes about the tobacco industry.

Population(s) Served

Over 90% of the world’s fatalities on the roads occur in low-income and middle-income countries, which have less than half of the world’s vehicles.

Vital Strategies is an implementing partner of the Bloomberg Philanthropies Initiative for Global Road Safety (BIGRS), a consortium carrying out proven road safety interventions in 15 countries and up to 30 cities around the world. The initiative’s comprehensive, evidence-based approach includes: strengthening legislation; improving key risky road behaviors with a focus on speeding; promoting infrastructure improvements and sustainable urban transportation; and advocating for improved vehicle safety standards.

Population(s) Served

The 21st century has been witness to a global nutrition transition where, at the expense of traditional diets, people increasingly consume cheap ultra-processed foods and sugary drinks.

A diet that is high in ultra-processed foods is an unhealthy diet and there is robust evidence that links their consumption to serious health harms such as increased overweight and obesity, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and some cancers.

Vital Strategies works closely with partners in Barbados, Brazil, Colombia, Jamaica and South Africa. We also support work in other countries including India and Ethiopia. Our work helps achieve healthy food policy goals through focused audience research, strategic communication and evaluation.

Population(s) Served

With the majority of the world’s population now living in urban settings, cities are uniquely positioned to transform the fight against NCDs and injuries by implementing policies to significantly reduce exposure to risk factors. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the transformative role of public health leadership by cities.

The Partnership for Healthy Cities (PHC), supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) and Vital Strategies, is a global network of 70 cities whose mayors have committed to prevent NCDs—including cancer, diabetes, heart disease and chronic lung disease—and injuries through proven interventions. The third phase of the Partnership launched in 2021.

As implementing partner in the initiative, Vital Strategies provides in-kind technical assistance, supports communication and public relations efforts, and disburses grants to participating cities.

Population(s) Served

Alcohol contributes to millions of deaths each year. Often the underlying connection of alcohol consumption with these deathsfrom liver disease, heart disease, cancer, violence, vehicle crashes, falls, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and other conditionsis overlooked. In addition to these health harms, alcohol has negative social and economic effects on individuals, families and communities. Since 2005, per capita consumption of alcohol has risen worldwide, promoted by an industry that glamorizes alcohol and creates positive norms among youth around its consumption.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
People with diseases and illnesses
Substance abusers
At-risk youth

Where we work


Western Pacific Challenge: Innovation for the Future of Public Health 2022

World Health Organization

Affiliations & memberships

Noncommunicable Diseases Allicance 2022

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of policy guidelines or proposals developed

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Food Policy

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success


Context Notes

Five Implementation of sugary drink and ultra-processed products taxes in Colombia, front-of-package warning labels in Brazil and Colombia, ans school nutrition policies in Barbados and Brazil.

Tobacco Control Mass Media Work Grant Awards

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Tobacco Control

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success


Context Notes

In 2021, Vital work led to historical smoke-free and TAPS policy in Mexico and Ukraine. In 2020, Vital campaigns reached at least 2 billion people to harms of Tobacco use.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our vision is a world where everyone is protected by equitable and effective public health systems. We seek to build a future where health is produced and protected for everyone and by everyone across all facets of our lives, in our families, communities and countries.

Goal 1: Public Health Systems
Support governments and civil society organizations in low- and middle-income countries to strengthen public health institutions, workforce, leadership, and infrastructure.

Goal 2: Urban Health
Expand Vital Strategies role as trusted partners to cities by cultivating relationships with city leaders and building institutional capacity for urban public health.

Goal 3: Environmental Health and Climate Change
Elevate the role of public health in addressing the worlds most pressing environmental threats.

Goal 4: Noncommunicable Diseases
Become the premier global agency that supports countries in the adoption of best practice NCD prevention policies through collaboration with and technical assistance to governments at the city, state and national level.

Goal 5: Injury Prevention
Build and expand on existing work to provide support to governments and civil society for achieving equitable, inclusive, and sustainable reductions in injury related to drug use, violence (sexual, gender-based, and domestic), and road crashes


Health is more than treating illness with medicines and in hospitalsits preventing illnesses from happening in the first place whenever possible.

Amid a pandemic that has revealed deep cracks in our systems, public health remains an invisible web of protections that we take for granted. Without strong public health systems, we are left defenseless when it comes to todays most common drivers of death and disease. That means more cancer, more car crashes, more overdose deaths.

Simple, proven measures can strengthen public health systems and save millions of lives from preventable death and disease every year, but those measures are underutilized, underfunded, and heavily influenced by industries that put profits before health.


Everything around you should make great health possible.

At Vital Strategies, were working toward a world where everything that surrounds usfrom the air we breathe to the roads we crossshapes health and safety for the better.

Whether the issue is air quality, transport, food, tobacco, drug use or infectious disease, our team of experts work across sectors - from transportation, energy, finance, development and education - to leverage public health to drive policy changes that protect everyone, everywhere.


We address health problems at their root - helping governments acquire the knowledge and tools they need to make rapid progress against cancer, heart disease, obesity, epidemic diseases, drug overdose, road crashes and other leading causes of disease, injury and death.

Around the world we are partnering to advocate for smoke-free environments, improving indoor and outdoor air quality, promote healthier diets by reducing sugar, salt and trans fat consumption, make roads safer in cities, restrict junk food marketing to children and guide governments on better use of health data for policy making. We also work on drug overdose prevention in the United States.

Vital Strategies' Key Approaches

Data-Driven Decision-Making: We use evidence to generate insights, inform action and set priorities that drive effective policymaking.

Policymaking for Health: We support locally led policy solutions such as legislative and regulatory actions that shape the physical and social contexts in which people live.

Strategic Communication and Advocacy: We use rigorous research and compelling storytelling to mount communication campaigns that aim to change policy and behavior.

Program Implementation: We promote sustainable solutions such as enforcement of policies and delivery of services to make systems operate effectively to protect and promote health.

Examples of major policy wins in 2023 include:
- Implementation of sugary drink and ultra-processed products taxes in Colombia, front-of-package warning
labels in Brazil and Colombia, ans school nutrition policies in Barbados and Brazil.
- Over 129,000 births historically under-registered groups that were registered by three Data for Health Global
Grants Program grantees-two in Gambia and one in Nigeria.
- Vital supported cancer registries worked toward implementing the new, Rwanda-build DHIS2 oncology module,
which improves cancer registry data collection in Jamaica, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe.
- Brazil, Mexico, Kenya, Philippines, Sri Lanka have developed alcohol taxation simulation models of the revenue
and public health gains that ca be expected.
- Seven million children expected to be protected from lead poisoning in Peru as part of a new project between
Vital, CDC Peru and Pure Earth.
- 65% coverage of tobacco health warnings on cigarette packs in Ukraine after a new decree in 2023; e-cigarette
packs have 30% coverage.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback


Vital Strategies, Inc.

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Vital Strategies, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 02/07/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Bruce Mandell

President of Data-Mail Inc. and Chairman and Majority Owner of Hartford Athletic

Jose Luis Castro (ex Officio)

President and CEO Vital Strategies

Marc Sznajderman

Senior Vice President, Head of Production, Eastern Region Marcus & Millichap Capital Corp.

Scott Halstead

Investor, Adviser & Board Member, Venture Capital & Private Equity Backed Technology

David Caputo

President Emeritus and Retired Professor of Political Science, Pace University

Frank Colella

Attorney at Law

Dr. Mary-Ann Etiebet

Executive Director, Merck for Mothers

Eric Rosenbaum

President and CEO of Project Renewal

Jack Salvo

Executive VP, Business Development, PharmaSphere

Neil W Schluger (ex Officio)

Chief, Division of Pulmonayr, Allergy, and Critial Care Medicine, Columbia University Medical Center

Dean Schraufnagel

Professor of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago, Section of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep and Allergy, Department of Medicine

Dr. Masae Kawamura

Immunotherapy and Immunodiagnostics Consultant

Meron Makonnen

General Counsel, ELMA Philanthropies Services

Dr. Kelly Hennin

Public Health Program Lead, Bloomberg Philanthropies

An-Ping Hsieh

Retired, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, Hubbell Incorporated

Renata Reis

Deputy General Director (Latin America), Doctors Without Borders (MSF) (Brazil)

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/17/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Gender identity

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

Transgender Identity

No data

Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 09/28/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
Policies and processes
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.