Yale President Peter Salovey announced Monday that Melinda Pettigrew, associate dean of the Yale School of Public Health, and Anna MR Lauder Professor of Epidemiology (Microbial Diseases), will serve as the school’s acting dean, from July 1, 2022.
Pettigrew will take over leadership of the school while a Research Advisory Committee led by YSPH Associate Dean for Research and Melinda Irwin, Professor of Epidemiology (Chronic Diseases) Susan Dwight Bliss, works to identify potential candidates to succeed the outgoing Dean, Dr. Sten Vermund. Dean Vermund returns to full-time teaching and research when his 5-year term ends June 30, 2022.
In a notice to members of the YSPH community on Monday, Salovey said Pettigrew will have overall responsibility for the school. “From working with faculty, staff and students to set the school’s priorities, to collaborating with other university leaders to take the necessary steps to move the school towards independence, she will play a valuable role. in setting a solid course for YSPH’s immediate future,” Salovey mentioned.
Salovey went on to say the following about Pettigrew and the Dean’s upcoming transition:
“Many of you will know Dean Pettigrew well. She has been part of the YSPH community for two decades. A renowned researcher and award-winning educator, she has devoted considerable time to enriching the intellectual environment of the school. efforts to develop distinctive educational programs, first as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs (2011-2017) and then as Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs (2017-2022).In these roles, she expanded the academic affairs team, oversaw the development of online education degree and certificate programs, and helped launch multidisciplinary concentrations in American health justice, climate change, global health, and public health modeling.Dean Pettigrew maintained alignment between YSPH’s teaching mission and the formidable research strengths of the school’s faculty, and it incorporated the public health practice in the curriculum.
Recently, she led the successful reaccreditation of YSPH through the Council on Public Health Education. She has also held many other roles to enhance the academic life of our community, including as Chair of the YSPH Education Committee; as a member of YSPH’s leadership team, strategic planning team, and nominations and promotions committees; and as a member of the Poorvu Center Advisory Board.
An internationally renowned infectious disease epidemiologist, she conducts research on the global health threat posed by antibiotic resistance. She combines laboratory research, population-based analysis and One Health approaches to identify factors that lead to the emergence and transmission of antimicrobial resistant bacteria. A prolific researcher, Dean Pettigrew’s research has been supported by numerous organizations, including the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and private foundations.
Over the past two decades, Dean Pettigrew has demonstrated an enduring commitment to creating an environment where everyone at YSPH can thrive and belong and to increasing diversity, inclusion and equity in the field of public health. She served as Deputy Title IX Coordinator for YSPH and a member of the President’s Committee on Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging. Currently, she is the Chair of the Diversity Task Force for the Antibiotic Resistance Leadership Group, a large national network of scientists funded by the NIH.
Please join me in thanking Dean Pettigrew for taking on this new role. I am also grateful to her, Dean Vermund, and the school’s faculty, students, and staff for their continued commitment to fostering an innovative and welcoming public health community on campus and for contributing to the health and well-being of so many communities around the world.”