Mental Health, Racial Justice, Diversity/Equity/Inclusion, Political Determinants of Health, Social Determinants of Health
Dr. Rob Carpenter is a #1 best-selling author, novelist, social scientist, public speaker, and filmmaker who has dedicated his life to improving the lives of those around him after miraculously surviving a tragic accident. His works – described by critics as “profoundly empathetic” – have been featured in People Magazine, The New York Times, Business Insider, and a variety of other media. He is the first in his family to graduate from college.
Academically, Dr. Rob focuses on the field of entertainment education, a cross-disciplinary mass communications subject involving not only all forms of entertainment and education but also incorporating aspects of public policy, psychology, sociology, anthropology, and leadership studies. His main research interest is in investigating how mass media influences human perception, behavior, and social outcomes on cultural and political issues, especially issues involving race, public health, and mental and emotional health. His doctoral dissertation at the University of Southern California focused on historical portrayals of people of color in entertainment media and the real-world outcomes these portrayals heavily influenced.
Dr. Rob has studied media and change at the 2x Emmy Award Winning USC Media Institute for Social Change, received research fellowships with The New America Foundation and Jacob’s Foundation, has hosted or participated in panels for South by Southwest EDU and TEDx, and given lectures at Harvard University, among others.
Professionally, Dr. Rob has written scholarly publications for the Oxford Business Review and Harvard Public Health Review, as well as mass market books, including a series of pro-social positive psychology books including The 48 Laws of Happiness and Icons & Legends, and is currently completing a historical thriller novel about the tragic, triumphant, and rocky behind-the-scenes relationship of Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr.
Dr. Rob has also written, directed, and produced documentary films, public service announcements, and worked on the Hollywood sets of Ballers, Scandal, Lethal Weapon, and others. He is the host of The Great Health Debates, has an upcoming podcast called Dear Underdog with Emmy winning screenwriter Kayona Ebony Brown, and has several television and theatrical films in development.
On the leadership front, Dr. Rob has been a Leadership LA fellow, California Connections Fellow, and Global Innovation fellow. He has served on the Board of Directors of Artist Year, Inner City Arts, Spread the Vote, and Intrinsik Insights. At 23 years old, was named the youngest public commissioner in the history of Los Angeles by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, where he oversaw a $150 million annual budget and $500 million in assets for LADOT.