Meet Dr. Eric Ding

Eric Ding’s family immigrated from China to the U.S. in pursuit of achieving the American Dream. He grew up in Cumberland County and is a proud product of Pennsylvania’s public schools. His mother is a teacher and his father was a blue-collar factory worker in Cumberland County and is now retired.
Eric’s family relied on public assistance programs for basic needs during his early childhood, which solidified his appreciation for Goodwill, the Salvation Army, church summer camps, and local charities. His experience with childhood hunger and poverty inspired him to become a nutritionist, epidemiologist, and health economist. He has devoted much of his career to improving people’s nutrition and addressing childhood hunger because no child in America should worry about from where his/her next meal is coming.
Eric attended the Pennsylvania Governor’s School of Excellence summer program, widely regarded as one of the great opportunity equalizers in PA public education. Years later, as among his most cherished endeavors, he was a passionate advocate in co-leading a public campaign to save the PA Governor’s Schools.
In high school, at the same time, Eric’s father was laid off when his Little Tykes factory closed, doctors discovered a large baseball-sized tumor in Eric’s chest that was life-threatening. Eric needed open-chest surgery and in the process, he lost several organs and even part of his lung. Fortunately, due to the high-quality health care provided by Hershey Medical Center doctors and nurses, faith, and support of his family–he beat the odds, survived and still fought back to run 5-minute miles. Thus, Eric understands that having affordable health care saves lives and is imperative for a healthy, functional, and thriving society.
Eric went on to receive his undergraduate degree in public health from Johns Hopkins University, then later earned dual doctorates from the Harvard School of Public Health–and achieving all of this by age 23. However, because university tuition costs led to Eric incur almost $100,000 in student loan debt, which he is still paying off today, he also understands the difficulty of students in affording higher education.
Over the last decade, Eric has been recognized for his many achievements in Public Health. He has received numerous awards, including: American Heart Association Scott Grundy Excellence Award (2015), Consortium of Universities for Global Health’s Global Health Project of the Year Prize (2014), Harvard College Derek Bok Distinction in Teaching Award (2009), the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship (2008), and the Sigma Chi Mark Anderson Leadership Award (2017). He is also notably a winner of the prestigious Boston Chamber of Commerce TOYL Award for outstanding civic leadership (2012), previously awarded to President John F Kennedy, Senator Ted Kennedy, Congressman Joe P. Kennedy II, Congressman Joe P. Kennedy III, and Congressman Seth Moulton.  
Eric is a loving husband to his wife Andrea and a doting father to his son, Lukas.
Learn more about Eric on his Harvard University’s profile.

admin_mkMeet Dr. Eric Ding