From 2009 to 2014, Dr. Farley was the Health Commissioner for New York City. In those years, he advocated for innovative public health policies, including making the city’s parks and beaches smoke-free, prohibiting price discounting of cigarettes, raising the legal sales age of tobacco to 21, capping the portion size of sugary drinks sold in restaurants at 16 ounces, and restricting the burning of air-polluting fuels to heat buildings.
Before joining the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Agency, Dr. Farley was chair of the Department of Community Health Sciences at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. He also served in the Centers for Disease Control's Epidemic Intelligence Service and worked for the CDC and the Louisiana Office of Public Health from 1989 to 2000. During that period, Dr. Farley directed programs to control various infectious diseases. He has conducted research and published articles on a wide range of topics, including Legionnaires' disease, prevention of HIV/STDs, infant mortality, and obesity.
Dr. Farley is coauthor of Prescription for a Healthy Nation (Beacon Press) with RAND Senior Scientist Deborah Cohen and author of Saving Gotham, A Billionaire Mayor, Activist Doctors, and the Fight for 8 Million Lives (W.W. Norton).
Dr. Farley has a bachelor of arts in mathematics from Haverford College, a doctor of medicine (MD) from Tulane University School of Medicine, and a master of public health (MPH) in epidemiology from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.