Dornsife School of Public Health Dean Ana Diez Roux to Step Down, Return to Faculty
November 16, 2022
This message was sent by the President and Provost to all faculty and staff on November 16, 2022.
After nearly 10 years leading the Dornsife School of Public Health, Ana Diez Roux, MD, PhD, MPH, has decided to step down from her role as the Dana and David Dornsife Dean as of August 30, 2023 to continue and expand her work in numerous areas as she returns to the faculty. The move will allow her to focus her efforts into directing the Drexel Urban Health Collaborative, leading the Drexel Faculty Institutional Recruitment for Sustainable Transformation (FIRST) program and advancing the University's agenda in the areas of health equity, urban studies and environmental sustainability, both in the U.S. and globally, as a Distinguished University Professor of Epidemiology.
During Dean Diez Roux's tenure, the School of Public Health has emerged as a national and global leader in urban health and health equity, growing in the rankings from 26 among 46 ranked schools of public health in 2014 to 19 among over 150 ranked schools and programs today. The School has greatly expanded its research programs, more than quadrupling research expenditures between 2014 and 2022, and has recruited dozens of new faculty from assistant to full professors.
The educational programs in the School, including the core Master's of Public Health program, have been revised and updated during this time, and several successful online master's programs have been launched, as well as four new PhD programs. The School also continued to expand its external partnerships with communities, practitioners and interdisciplinary scientists to advance public health and health equity locally, nationally and globally. In 2018, it was recognized as the country's top school for community-engaged public health work by the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health with its inaugural Harrison Spencer Award for Community Engagement.
Under Dean Diez Roux's leadership, the School was fully reaccredited twice, in 2014 and 2022, and received a $45 million naming gift from Dana and David Dornsife to support faculty hiring, student scholarships and global health and to establish the Urban Health Collaborative. This was followed by a second $9 million gift in 2020 to launch the Ubuntu Center on Racism, Global Movements and Population Health Equity, and hire associated faculty and name the position of the Dana and David Dornsife Dean.
Dr. Diez Roux oversaw an expansion of the School's work to promote diversity and inclusion and ensure an antiracist approach to education, research, practice and administration, including launching the School's Antiracism Action Plan and supporting the Inclusion Diversity Equity and Antiracism (IDEA) Fellows program. Together with Dean Laura Gitlin of the College of Nursing and Health Professions, she secured funding through the FIRST program to support the recruitment of faculty committed to inclusive excellence. She has also led the expansion and update of School policies to increase transparency and fairness, creating the Staff Coordinating Committee and launching the School Council with representatives from faculty, professional staff and students.
During her time as Dean, Dr. Diez Roux has maintained an active research portfolio, securing grants from the National Institutes of Health, Wellcome Trust, Lazarex Cancer Foundation, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and has been an active mentor of graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and junior faculty. We are profoundly grateful to Dean Diez Roux for her leadership of the School, her commitment to inclusive excellence in teaching, research and service, and for elevating public health and health equity at Drexel.
We will work with the School in the coming months to develop plans for a search for Ana's successor.
Please join us in thanking Dean Diez Roux for her leadership and wishing her all the best as she returns to the faculty.
Paul E. Jensen
Executive Vice President
Nina Henderson Provost