Michelle A. Williams, SM ’88, ScD ’91, is Dean of the Faculty, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Angelopoulos Professor in Public Health and International Development, a joint faculty appointment at the Harvard Chan School and Harvard Kennedy School. She is an internationally renowned epidemiologist and public health scientist, an award-winning educator, and a widely recognized academic leader. Prior to becoming Dean on July 1, 2016, she was Professor and Chair of the Department of Epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Program Leader of the Population Health and Health Disparities Research Programs at Harvard’s Clinical and Translational Sciences Center (Harvard Catalyst).
Dean Williams joined the Harvard Chan faculty after a distinguished career at the University of Washington (UW) School of Public Health where she rose through the faculty ranks to become a full professor of epidemiology in 2000. While at the UW, she was very active in the Center for Perinatal Studies at the Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, becoming co-director from 2000 to 2011, with broad responsibility for a multidisciplinary research program involving clinical investigators, basic scientists, and epidemiologists. From 1992 to 2010, she was an affiliate investigator at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, and from 2008 to 2011 she held a joint appointment in global health at the UW.
In 1994, Dean Williams developed and is currently directing, the NIH-funded multidisciplinary international research training (MIRT) program that allows for the development and operations of undergraduate and graduate student training in global health, biostatistics, and epidemiology in over 14 foreign research sites in South America, Southeast Asia, Africa, and Europe.
She is a member of several professional and scholarly associations, including the National Academy of Medicine, the Society for Epidemiologic Research, and the American Epidemiological Society (elected).
Dean Williams received her undergraduate degree in biology and genetics from Princeton University in 1984. She has a master’s in civil engineering from Tufts University, and master’s and doctoral degrees in epidemiology from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
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