Faculty Associate, Center for Positive Organizations
Professor, Health Behavior & Health Education; Director for Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship; University of Michigan
Founder and Chief Purpose Officer, Kumanu
Victor J. Strecher (pronounced Streker), PhD, MPH is a visionary leader and expert in the fields of behavior change, digital communication, and wellbeing. His pioneering research led to successful ventures, reaching millions of lives. He’s Founder & CEO of Kumanu, a next generation wellbeing company, Professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, renowned speaker, and author.
In 1995, Vic founded the U-M Center for Health Communications Research, studying the future of digitally-tailored health communications when fewer than 15% of Americans had Internet access. In 1997, he founded HealthMedia, a digital health coaching company that was sold to Johnson & Johnson in 2010. More recently, Vic created Kumanu (Maori for “nourish” and “cherish”), a digital platform designed to help individuals and organizations live more purposefully.
Vic and the organizations he founded have won numerous national and international awards, including two Smithsonian Awards, the Health Evolution Partners Innovations in Healthcare Award, the National Business Coalition on Health’s Mercury Award, and the Health Enhancement Research Organization’s (HERO) Mark Dundon Research Award. In 2010, Vic won the University of Michigan’s Distinguished Innovator Award. In late 2017, Dr. Strecher was the Donald A. Dunstan Foundation’s “Thinker in Residence” in Adelaide, Australia to develop a “Purpose Economy” of business, government, and communities. His 2009 TedMed presentation has been cited by MPHonline as one of the “Top 10 Ted Talks on Public Health.”
His latest neuroscience, behavioral, and epidemiologic research; his two books, Life On Purpose and the graphic novel On Purpose; his free massive open online course Finding Purpose and Meaning in Life, which in its first six months has over 75,000 enrollees; and the Purposeful application his business (Kumanu) created are all focused on the importance of developing and maintaining a transcending purpose in life.