Dreaming big

sunset To the Harvard Chan community:

I was both thrilled and humbled to step into the Dean’s Office this morning and begin my tenure. It is an honor to lead this incredible institution and a privilege to work with all of you.

I first came to Harvard Chan School nearly two decades ago as a visiting researcher. I remember an early meeting to discuss a grant application; I was amazed (and a bit overwhelmed) at all the terrific ideas and enthusiasm flowing through the room. At its full potential, this community’s energy and passion are truly special.

Over the next several months, I’ll go on a listening tour to hear from every segment of our community. I want to hear what we’re doing right, where we could improve, and what obstacles are holding us back. Just as important, I want to hear your boldest dreams for our school and the field of public health. Please share your ideas with me using this form; you can choose to attach your name or submit it anonymously.

I’m coming into this position convinced that we can thoughtfully and strategically grow Harvard Chan School, in ways that will benefit both our institution and the wider world. Together, we’ll embark on a visioning process to build a strategic plan for growth and impact over the next 10 years.

At the top of this email, you’ll see a collage of my favorite sunrise photos. I love to take photos like these because sunrise is such a hopeful time — full of promise. That’s how I feel about stepping into this job in this moment. Our school, our field, and our world all face very real and very daunting challenges. But there’s also so much opportunity. As a community, we are already a huge force for good in the world, and we have the potential to extend our reach and expand our impact so much more. We face big challenges; now’s the time to reach for big solutions.

If you follow me on social media, you know I like exclamation points, and this seems the right moment to use them. So, I’ll wrap up with this: I’m excited to be right here, right now, working alongside all of you!!!

Here’s to a new year full of progress and promise, peace, and joy, as we work together to build a world where everyone can thrive.

Very best wishes,

Andrea Baccarelli, MD, PhD
Dean of the Faculty
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health