Dr. Sandro Galea to Step Down as Dean of the School of Public Health; Will Join Washington University in St. Louis as Inaugural Dean of Public Health

From Dr. Kenneth Lutchen, University Provost and Chief Academic Officer
and Dr. Karen Antman, Medical Campus Provost and Dean, Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine

Dr. Sandro Galea, who has served with distinction as dean of the Boston University School of Public Health (SPH) since 2015 and as Robert A. Knox Professor, has announced he will step down at the end of 2024 to become the inaugural dean at a newly established school of public health at Washington University in St. Louis.

Dean Galea has been a dynamic, forward-looking leader at SPH over the last nine-plus years, dramatically expanding the school’s outreach and impact, nurturing a culture of pride and aspiration among faculty, and elevating its profile as a global destination for public health research, education, and practice. Under Dean Galea’s direction, SPH has seen significant advances in its research portfolio and national standing, attracting more than $73.7M this past year in research awards (BU’s second largest portfolio, and a doubling of its funding from a decade ago) and finishing #7 in US News & World Report’s national ranking of public health schools, with additional top 10 finishes for its epidemiology, biostatistics, community health sciences, and health law, policy, and management programs.

These rankings and awards are reflective of ambitious efforts Dean Galea has overseen during his tenure at SPH. These include efforts to broaden access and interest through innovative offerings like the school’s online Master of Public Health and a suite of novel, new MS programs; grow the school’s mission of community engagement and impact through the launch of programs and platforms like Generation Health, Activist Lab, and Public Health Post; bolster SPH’s strong emphasis on teaching through the largest faculty hiring effort in the school’s history; and modernize its physical space through the renovation of the Talbot Building and the creation of a new student center. Dean Galea’s contributions and collaborative approach have likewise been felt at the University level, where his leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic in particular provided a national model for communication and community guidance during the greatest public health challenge of our generation.

Dean Galea is an internationally recognized physician and epidemiologist whose widely cited scholarship examines the social causes of health, mental health, and the consequences of trauma. Prior to his arrival at BU, he was the Gelman Professor and Chair of Epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Dean Galea has more than 1,000 peer-reviewed publications, 75 chapters, and 24 books. His research has been principally funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and philanthropic foundations. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, past chair of the board of the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health and of the Boston Board of Public Health, and past president of the Society for Epidemiologic Research and of the Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Science. He has been named one of Time magazine’s epidemiology innovators, a Top Voice in Healthcare by LinkedIn, and holds lifetime achievement awards from the American Public Health Association and the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.

Dr. Galea will serve as dean of SPH through December 31, 2024. We will share next steps around the appointment of a successor in the coming months. In the meantime, we are grateful for Dean Galea’s exceptional service, energy, and direction at SPH over the last nine years. The School of Public Health he leaves is well-positioned for the future as one of the nation’s preeminent institutions in this globally vital area.

Dr. Sandro Galea to Step Down as Dean of the School of Public Health; Will Join Washington University in St. Louis as Inaugural Dean of Public Health – 5.6.24