Founding Dean, Washington University in St. Louis School of Public Health

Washington University in St. Louis (WashU) seeks nominations for and confidential expressions of interest in the position of founding dean for a new School of Public Health. WashU is home to a top ranked accredited MPH program and is now seeking accreditation as a School of Public Health (SPH) in 2025. The founding dean will carry forward one of the signature priorities of WashU’s ten-year ambitious strategic plan, Here and Next. The new SPH will serve as a center-point for existing strengths and collaborations in public health research, education and practice at the Brown School of Social Work, School of Medicine, Arts & Sciences, and other schools within WashU.

The founding dean will carry forward the vision for the new school, complemented by their own creativity and leadership, to establish a vibrant, successful school that will capitalize on existing institutional strengths and lead public health to new levels of impact via outstanding educational offerings and research efforts.  We expect the new SPH to be defined as an interdisciplinary “school of the future,” drawing on the strengths of faculty across WashU schools and campuses, along with many community partners.  The dean will report to the provost and serve as a member of the University Council, an advisory board to the chancellor.

WashU has had significant growth in public health research and education over the past two decades. The current structure has fostered excellence in different areas across the university, including: a large research portfolio with a combined ~$65M annually in NIH funding, CDC, and foundation grants; a Master of Public Health (MPH) program, accredited since 2015, with >800 graduates and currently ranked #17 in the US; PhD programs in Public Health including General Public Health, Dissemination and Implementation Science, and Data Science; ahe university-wide Institute for Public Health (IPH), which convenes over 300 faculty across schools and houses seven cross-school Centers promoting transdisciplinary research and will form the nucleus of the new SPH; and degrees and research opportunities housed in the Medical School, focused on educating professional and doctoral students and early-stage faculty to perform health services research and clinical and translational research to impact the health outcomes of patients across diverse populations.


Washington University in St. Louis (WashU) is a global leader in research and education.  Founded in 1853, the University is an independent highly ranked institution. The University is organized into eight academic units: Arts & Sciences,  Brown School of Social WorkContinuing and Professional StudiesMcKelvey School of EngineeringOlin Business SchoolSam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, School of Law and School of Medicine. WashU educates approximately 15,000 full-time students, divided almost equally between undergraduate and graduate/professional students across more than 90 fields of study in a broad spectrum of traditional and interdisciplinary fields. Given WashU’s global presence, over the next decade, we will prioritize deep, meaningful engagement in strategically chosen regions around the globe to create greater impact.

The dean will be the chief academic and administrative officer for the School of Public Health. They will work collaboratively with all stakeholders to help articulate and sustain a vision for the new school including building upon the MPH and IPH and expanding the existing transdisciplinary research and teaching programs with other Schools at WashU. The dean will foster the local, national, and international visibility of SPH research and educational programs, catalyze research productivity, and aid our faculty, staff, and students in the pursuit of equitable excellence through research, education, and the translation of research into evidence-based practice, policy creation, and implementation. The dean will work closely with the provost and other University officers to ensure the success of the School of Public Health by building on connections with faculty, staff, and students at the Brown School, the Medical School, Arts & Sciences, and other schools at WashU.

Competitive candidates will have the following professional qualifications and personal characteristics in addition to fundraising, financial, and strong communication skills:  distinguished academic and executive leadership accomplishments, commensurate with appointment at the rank of professor and appropriate to the leadership of establishing a new school at a major research university; a commitment to the success of our students; experience with the management of complex organizational structures with multi-faceted strategies, and especially the ability to create equitable, diverse workspaces to further the school’s mission and programs; a strong background in research, acquisition of research funding and proven ability to advance public health knowledge; a deep understanding of public health issues, including the practice of public health and the key activities necessary for founding an outstanding school; an a keen eye for and a readiness to invest and gain buy in for opportunities that will benefit the overall performance of the School, the University, and the world.

Inquiries, nominations, and applications are invited. Although the search will remain open until the position is filled, review of candidate materials will begin immediately. Candidates should provide a curriculum vitae, a letter of application that addresses the responsibilities and requirements described herein, and the names and contact information of five references. References will not be contacted without prior knowledge and approval of the candidates. Materials should be sent electronically via e-mail to and

Washington University in St. Louis is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Washington University welcomes difference on our campus in the form of gender, race, ethnicity, disability, geography, socioeconomic status, age, politics, religion, philosophy, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression and veteran status. All applicants who share this goal are encouraged to apply.