Karen Emmons named Dean for Academic Affairs

Karen Emmons will be named Dean of Academic Affairs. Photo: Harvard Chan Communications

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Karen Emmons — currently Vice President for Research and Director of the Kaiser Foundation Research Institute in Oakland, Calif. — will be the next Dean for Academic Affairs at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, rejoining the School after a three-year absence. Her first day as Dean for Academic Affairs will be November 1, 2016. Emmons will succeed David Hunter, Sc.D. ’88, who served with distinction as Dean for Academic Affairs for seven years, including this past year as Acting Dean.

As Dean for Academic Affairs, Emmons will work with Dean Michelle Williams to oversee the major academic, research and educational operations of the School, including Faculty Affairs, Student Affairs, Education, Diversity and Inclusion, and Research Strategy and Development. She brings extensive research experience in health disparities and community-based interventions to improve health equity, and has received several awards for her work mentoring students and junior faculty.

Emmons was a faculty member in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences from 1994 to 2014, and served from 2009 to 2013 as the School’s Associate Dean for Research. The work by Emmons and her team helped Harvard Chan build and diversify its research portfolio, advanced the School’s capability to adhere to the highest research standards, and increased greatly the ability of our junior faculty to compete successfully for research funding.

She will return to the School with significant knowledge gained from working with a strong research structure in an extremely successful healthcare organization, and with great respect for the research conducted at Kaiser Permanente.