School leadership

Andrea Baccarelli

Andrea Baccarelli, MD, PhD, is the Dean of the Faculty at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. A distinguished scientist, Dr. Baccarelli investigates the molecular mechanisms by which a wide array of environmental exposures causes human disease.

Jane J. Kim, Interim Dean

Jane J. Kim is the Dean for Academic Affairs at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She is also the K.T. Li Professor of Health Economics in the Department of Health Policy and Management and the Center for Health Decision Science. Her research focuses on the development and application of mathematical modeling methods to evaluate health policy issues related to women’s health.

Michelle A. Williams

A globally recognized epidemiologist, Michelle A. Williams led Harvard Chan School during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under her tenure, the School launched its first fully online MPH program, expanded field learning opportunities for students, and revitalized the Center for Health Communication. It also broke down academic silos by establishing cross-disciplinary research initiatives, such as the Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment (C-CHANGE), the Microbiome in Public Health Center, the Zhu Family Center for Global Cancer Prevention, and the Thich Nhat Hanh Center for Mindfulness in Public Health.

David Hunter, Acting Dean

During David Hunter’s tenure as Acting Dean, the School opened a new center in Mumbai, launched a new hybrid MPH in Epidemiology, inaugurated a new Center for Health and Happiness, and expanded the John B. Little Center for Radiation Sciences. Hunter also served as Dean for Academic Affairs at a time when the number of women professors increased by more than 50% and the number of faculty members from underrepresented minority groups doubled. 

Julio Frenk

Julio Frenk, a renowned global health leader and former minister of health in Mexico, presided over a dramatic expansion of the School’s international reach and a major revamping of its curricula to place greater emphasis on case-based learning and interactive activities. Under his tenure, the School also launched several new programs, including the doctor of public health (DrPH) program, the blended online and on-campus MPH—a first among Harvard schools—and the PhD in population health sciences. Frenk also oversaw the redesign of the MPH programs and the launch of online education offerings.

Barry R. Bloom

Under Barry R. Bloom, a distinguished immunologist and global health authority, the School adopted an interdisciplinary emphasis on genes and the environment, quantitative social sciences and bioinformatics, and global health. Bloom oversaw new public health initiatives in Africa, India, China, and the Mediterranean region, and made student financial aid a top priority. By the end of his tenure, student funding had increased threefold and the School was annually accepting more than 1,000 students from more than 50 countries.

James H. Ware, Acting Dean

James H. Ware, a biostatistician, served as Acting Dean during his long tenure as Academic Dean, from 1990-2009. Under his leadership as Academic Dean, the student body doubled in size and the research budget grew at an annual rate of eight percent.

Harvey V. Fineberg

Harvey V. Fineberg presided over rapid growth in the numbers of students and faculty, in the budget, and in fundraising. He launched several renowned interdisciplinary programs, including the Harvard AIDS Initiative, the Harvard Center for Cancer Prevention, the Center for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, and the Harvard Center for Children’s Health. He also strongly promoted a health and human rights agenda and strengthened the School’s scholarship in molecular epidemiology, health communications, and research in public health practice.

Howard H. Hiatt

A Harvard-trained physician and former physician-in-chief at Beth Israel Hospital, Howard H. Hiatt defined health and health care in the broadest possible terms. During his tenure, he strengthened and broadened work in quantitative analytic sciences, introduced molecular and cell biology into the School’s research and teaching, and created its program in health policy and management—the first in a public health school. Hiatt also co-founded the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and played a major role in the success of Partners in Health, a Harvard-affiliated nonprofit that works with resource-deprived countries to fight disease and poverty.

Richard H. Daggy, Acting Dean

Before his academic career, entomologist Richard H. Daggy worked for the Arabian American Oil Company in Saudi Arabia, where he led preventive medicine efforts and served as medical director. In 1954, Daggy was invited to become a lecturer at the School, where he taught both entomology and tropical public health. In 1964, he became assistant dean for international programs; in 1968, associate dean; and between 1971 and 1972, acting dean.

John C. Snyder

A bacteriologist, John C. Snyder came to the School to study rickettsial diseases, international health, and population control. He established the Department of Demography and Human Ecology—the first such department in any school of public health. He also created a University-wide center for population studies and a department of behavioral sciences. Snyder modernized and significantly expanded the School. He quadrupled the endowment, doubled the size of the faculty, and inaugurated new facilities.

James S. Simmons

A graduate of the Harvard School of Public Health—as well as a physician, soldier and scientist—James S. Simmons pushed for an expanded national commitment to train public health professionals. He called upon the nation’s schools of medicine to place increased emphasis on preventive medicine. Before joining the School, Simmons had studied malaria, dengue, and other tropical scourges, and developed a preventive medicine program that safeguarded the health of men in the military during World War II.

Edward G. Huber, Acting Dean

Edward G. Huber steered the School through the extreme shortages of money and personnel during World War II. He also helped secure critical funds from the Rockefeller Foundation—which paved the way for the School to become fully autonomous from Harvard Medical School on July 1, 1946.

Cecil K. Drinker

An eminent physiologist and the School’s first full-time Dean, Cecil K. Drinker initiated groundbreaking studies in industrial medicine, bacteriology, and child development. With Drinker at the helm, the School dramatically expanded enrollment and, for the first time, admitted women as candidates for degrees.

Roger I. Lee, Acting Dean

Roger I. Lee chaired the special committee empowered in 1921 to plan the newly endowed, independent Harvard School of Public Health. For his prescient leadership, Lee has been dubbed the “Father” of the School. He served as Acting Dean during David Edsall’s travel to Europe for educational surveys.

David L. Edsall, Joint Deanship with the Harvard Medical School

After four years as Dean of Harvard Medical School, David Linn Edsall was appointed Dean of the newly independent Harvard School of Public Health in 1922 and led both institutions until his retirement in 1935. Under his tenure, the School emerged as a leading research and training center in the fields of sanitary engineering, tropical medicine, and industrial medicine. School scientists amplified the power of serums and vaccines, conducted important studies in poliomyelitis, sleeping sickness, and hookworm, and studied the special needs of premature infants and of individuals afflicted with mental illness.