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Letter from the Dean

These accomplishments reflect the hard work and dedication of all of our faculty, staff, students and alumni, and I could not be more appreciative and proud.

As Benjamin Franklin once said, “W hen you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” Our school has experienced tremendous change this past year… and we are not finished. And with change comes the opportunity for significant growth, and if we stop growing we will fail in our mission to educate, advocate, legislate and dominate in the fields of public health and scientific research. We must grow to uphold our mission and serve the world. This past year we have undergone so many exciting transformations. You will read about them in more detail later in this report, but I will highlight a few here.

We are now ranked by the most recent U.S. News and World Report graduate school rankings as the No. 12 school of public health in the country, up from No. 14. Furthermore, our Masters of Health Administration program was ranked No. 12 in the same rankings, up from No. 16. These accomplishments reflect the hard work and dedication of all of our faculty, staff, students and alumni, and I could not be more appreciative and proud.
Our community collaborated to complete our new strategic plan with the inspiring vision: Healthier and Safer Communities Powered by Public Health. Their strong efforts and great ideas resulted in a stra- tegic plan that provides a solid foundation for our future. This year we are part of a new university strategic planning effort led by President LeBlanc, his leadership team and three key committees that will move GW forward to its vision of a preeminent comprehensive global research university.

We launched several new distinctive degree programs, positioning our school as a top destination for academic grad- uate students. For example, we now offer PhDs in health policy as well as environ- mental health. We also expanded the MPH program to include a new track in humanitarian health. Our students benefit greatly from the wide expertise among our world-class faculty, research opportunities as well as the proximity to so many agen- cies, NGOs and other institutions here in W ashington, DC. I’m particularly thrilled with the changes we have made in leadership this year. Some very senior leaders have left us to go on to greater heights. We are proud that Michael Lu, who was our senior associate dean for academic, faculty and student affairs, is now the dean of the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. We congratulate Monique Turner, who was a powerhouse as assistant dean of MPH programs and is now chair of the Department of Communication in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences at Michigan State University. Joining us as our new senior associate dean of academic, faculty and student affairs is our very own Jane Thorpe, health policy interim chair and professor. George Gray, who served as vice chair and professor in the Department of Environmental Health, is our new associate dean for MPH programs. We also now have Eugene Migliaccio as associate dean for applied public health, Sara W ilensky as assistant dean for undergraduate programs, Lorien Abroms as assistant dean of academic graduate programs, Heather Renault as assistant dean of student services and Ellen Beck as assistant vice president of devel- opment and alumni relations. W ith this newly constituted senior leadership team, I am confident that we are poised for future growth and development.

Many of you know Dr. Fitzhugh Mullan, professor of health policy and manage- ment and a towering pillar in the effort to build a more diverse health workforce here and around the world. The univer- sity recently renamed the GW Health Workforce Institute as the Fitzhugh Mullan Institute for Health Workforce Equity in honor of Fitzhugh, who is also a professor of pediatrics in the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences. The newly named institute will be directed by Patricia Pittman, professor of health policy and management. This represents a huge honor to the school and to Fitzhugh in recognition of his lifetime of commitment and impact in the areas of social justice, health equity and health workforce poli- cies. Finally, I would be remiss if I did not mention the incredible ongoing work of the District of Columbia Center for AIDS Research (DC CFAR). Under the lead- ership of Alan Greenberg, professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology, the DC CFAR will be getting new grants as a result of the current administration’s desire to end HIV in 10 years. This incred- ible work will be further supported by the NIH and will result in contributing to this audacious but achievable goal.

Inspired by our success in addressing the HIV/AIDS and related epidemics, we have moved into new areas in infectious disease, namely stopping epidemics of vector-borne disease. Later in this issue you’ll read about our new laboratories headed by Professors Nirbhay Kumar and Christopher Mores, where we will study mosquito-borne diseases and develop methods to track and prevent them. So, at the end of the day, change is indeed inevitable. But it is also invigorating and stimulating. Let’s embrace it, celebrate it and use it to propel us further along our mutual goals of achieving health, safety and peace for people everywhere while contributing to the university’s vision of a preeminent, comprehensive global research university.

Truly yours,


Lynn R. Goldman, MD, MS, MPH Michael and Lori Milken Dean

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