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Merson Named Interim Leader of Global Programs at Duke
Durham, NC - Michael H. Merson, the founding director of the Duke Global Health Institute and vice chancellor for Duke-National University of Singapore (NUS) Affairs, will take on the role of interim vice president and vice provost for global strategy and programs, Duke President Richard H. Brodhead announced Monday.
Merson succeeds on an interim basis Greg Jones, who is stepping down from the position for health reasons after creating the Office of Global Strategy and Programs (OGSP) in 2010.
The university will launch an international search for a permanent successor to Jones at the start of the academic year in September.
In the meantime, Merson will oversee the OGSP and engage the Duke community in the development of global academic programs across the university, including the planning for Duke's efforts in Kunshan, China. Merson will continue to lead the Duke Global Health Institute (DGHI).
"Greg Jones laid a strong foundation for Duke's global identity, and we are profoundly grateful for his leadership and ability to connect Duke's many programs, across the university and around the world, into a unified strategic vision," Brodhead said. "We wish Greg a speedy return to full health and are glad that he will remain a valued member of our faculty and the Duke community."
Jones moved into the global role after serving as dean of the Duke Divinity School for 13 years. He was responsible for the launch of a number of new interdisciplinary and international programs, the construction of a new building, and significant fundraising. Over the past year, as the chief advocate for Duke's global initiatives, Jones helped to articulate Duke's international engagement and oversaw the planning and negotiations that led to the creation of Duke Kunshan University.
Jones will spend the 2011-12 academic year on a research leave and will continue work on the Lilly Endowment-funded initiative Leadership Education at Duke Divinity. He will return to the Divinity School faculty after that.
Since joining Duke in 2006, Merson has established DGHI as one of the largest academic global health programs in the country, with 45 faculty members, 10 education and degree programs for undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral students, and 120 active research projects in 28 countries. In its first four years, DGHI has been awarded more than $100 million in research grants from public and private sources. DGHI also plans to offer academic and research programs at the new Duke Kunshan University campus.
"I am grateful that Mike Merson has agreed to step into this role. He is the ideal person to continue Greg Jones' work in coordinating global strategy and programs," Brodhead said. "Mike's leadership of the Duke Global Health Institute ensures that he has a deep understanding, not only of the complexity of Duke's international initiatives, but also of the academic and ethical considerations underpinning our global strategy. His perspective is critical and valuable as we move forward."
In addition to leading DGHI, Merson also serves as the university's liaison to the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore, which graduates its first class of 24 physician-scientists next month.
"Duke's commitment to education, research and service around the globe is a hallmark of this great university," Merson said.
The former dean of public health and chairman of the department of epidemiology at the Yale University School of Medicine, Merson previously served as director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Program on AIDS, which was responsible for mobilizing and coordinating the global response to the HIV pandemic.
He has served in advisory capacities for UNAIDS; WHO; the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; The World Bank; Doris Duke Foundation; World Economic Forum; and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and on several review panels and advisory committees of the National Institutes of Health. Merson is a member of the Commission for Smart Global Health Policy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in the National Academy of Sciences.
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