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Frenk Appointed Dean of School of Public Health

7.29.08

President Drew Faust announced on July 29 the appointment of Julio Frenk as dean of the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), effective in January 2009. Frenk was Minister of Health of Mexico from 2000 to 2006. He succeeds Barry R. Bloom, whose service as dean is described here.

Frenk, a former visiting professor at the HSPH, was the founding director-general of the National Institute of Public Health in Mexico, and also served as an executive director of the World Health Organization (WHO), according to the University's news release. He is currently a senior fellow in the global health program of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, president of the Carso Health Institute in Mexico City, and chair of the board of the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which is directed by Christopher Murray, previously a professor at Harvard and director of the Harvard Initiative for Global Health. (The initiative's website is www.globalhealth.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do.)

In her announcement, Faust called Frenk "a highly influential figure at the crossroads of scholarship and practice, known for his profound concern with how scientific evidence can foster improvements in health systems and policy in societies around the world. He has a highly multidisciplinary outlook, a strong commitment to reducing disparities in health, and a deep understanding of the power of education and research to change lives for the better. His leadership experience in government, in the academy, at WHO, and beyond, along with his longstanding connections to the HSPH, holds great promise to serve Harvard well. This is an unusually exciting moment for the field of public health, and I am delighted that Julio Frenk has agreed to guide us forward in such an important domain."

The full text of the news release is available here.