Mayor Linda Gorton today appointed Mark Swanson, a University of Kentucky professor who has worked with downtown neighborhoods to improve accessibility to healthy foods, as 3rd District Councilmember.
“Mark is well prepared to be the Councilmember for the Third District,” Gorton said. “He has worked to improve economic opportunity in our downtown neighborhoods. And he is a faculty member at the University of Kentucky, which is another important part of the District.”
Swanson will replace Councilmember Jake Gibbs, who died suddenly on March 3. Gorton said Swanson will be sworn into office after a 15-day waiting period to allow Councilmembers time to meet him.
“I’m honored by the confidence Mayor Gorton has shown in me with this appointment, and I look forward to serving my neighbors in the 3rd District in these unprecedented and challenging times,” Swanson said.
A faculty member in the College of Public Health, Swanson’s work focuses on applied research on food environments in addition to teaching. He has worked with stores in low income neighborhoods in Lexington and in Eastern Kentucky to increase healthy food options. He also worked on the “Better Bites” initiative to add healthy items to the menus at Lexington pools and to overhaul pool snack bar menus.
Swanson is a member of the Lexington Environmental Commission, the Lexington Tweens Nutrition and Fitness Coalition Board of Directors, and the Advocacy Committee of the American Heart Association, Kentucky Chapter.
Swanson holds a Ph.D. from the University of Florida in anthropology.
Swanson and his wife, Nancy Schoenberg, a professor in the UK College of Medicine, have two adult children, Rachel and Ben Swanson.