G. Robert (“Bobby”) Watts is the chief executive officer of the National Health Care for the Homeless Council. A nationally recognized advocate and leader in meeting the health needs of people without homes, Watts has more than 25 years of experience in administration, direct service, and implementation of homeless health services.
Watts is a former board president of the National HCH Council and served as the executive director of New York City’s Care for the Homeless from 2005-2017. Under his tenure, this community health center tripled in size, adding major programs and initiatives – including constructing and operating a large women’s shelter (Susan’s Place) – and became licensed as a New York State Diagnostic and Treatment Center.
A long-time New Yorker before his move to Nashville, Watts is the former Finance Officer of the New York City HIV Health and Human Services Planning Council. As a member of the Steering Committee of the New York City Medicaid Managed Care Task Force, Watts helped to develop safeguards for people without homes under New York City’s Medicaid managed care program. He also has served as a member of the New York State Interagency Council on Homelessness, co-chairing its Health Committee, in addition to serving on multiple boards of membership organizations and governmental task forces such as the HIV Planning Council’s Health Workgroup, the U.S. Public Health Service’s Bureau of Primary Health Care Data Workgroup, and an NHCHC workgroup which published recommendations on outcome measures for HCH programs. He began his work with people experiencing homelessness as a live-in staff member of the New York City Rescue Mission in Manhattan.
He is a graduate of Stuyvesant High School, Cornell University, and the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health – from which he holds a Master’s in Public Health in health administration and a Master’s of Science in epidemiology. He also holds a Certification in Public Health (CPH), as well as a Certificate of Theological Studies from Alliance Theological Seminary in Nyack, NY.