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Clyde Oden, Jr.

Clyde Oden.

Alumni Board Member
Class of 1968

Rev. Clyde W. Oden, Jr., OD, MPH, MBA, MDIV
Member, Berkeley Optometry Hall of Fame

Dr. Clyde W. Oden, Jr., born in San Diego in 1944, graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a Bachelor of Science degree (1966), followed by Master of Optometry (1967), and Doctor of Optometry (1968) from the UC Berkeley Herbert Wertheim School of Optometry & Vision Science. Additionally, Dr. Oden earned a Master of Public Health degree from the UC Berkeley School Public Health (1968). Dr. Oden also earned a Master of Business Administration from the Pepperdine University School of Business and Management, and a Master of Divinity from the Claremont School of Theology.

Dr. Oden has had three intersecting careers focusing on physical, spiritual and economic health. He began his professional career as a clinical optometrist with Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, California, before expanding his career focus to the community and public health sector. Dr. Oden later became President and Chief Executive Officer of Watts Health Systems, Inc., where he served for 33 years, leading an organization that included community health centers, a health maintenance organization, and other holdings, with nearly 1,000 employees and serving more than 200,000 persons annually in Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernadino counties.

Following a call to the ministry, Dr. Oden became an ordained minister, subsequently being appointed pastor of three churches over a 24-year period in the African Methodist Episcopal Church denomination, retiring from pastoral ministry in 2018.

A passionate advocate, Dr. Oden has been active in addressing community development, disparities in health care and issues around diversity, equity and inclusion throughout his career. He has served on the board of numerous community organizations and has been appointed to various local, state and federal bodies addressing these issues.

Dr. Clyde W. Oden, Jr., currently serves as Assistant Director of the AC Care Alliance, an organization providing faith-based, person-centered, lay care navigation intervention serving predominantly African American adults with advanced illness and their caregivers in California.

In May, 2023, Dr. Oden received the 2023 Peter E. Haas Public Service Award, which recognizes UC Berkeley alumni who, through their personal efforts, have made a significant contribution to the public good in the United States. The award is intended to recognize activity at the grassroots level and to illustrate the impact that an individual can have on society through creative efforts toward positive social change.