Committee Formed to Seek New Director of the Duke Global Health Institute

Comments, nominations welcomed from Duke community

Gillian Schmidler will chair a committee to search for the new director of the Duke Global Health Institute (DGHI) to replace interim director Dr. Dennis Clements, Chancellor Gene Washington and Provost Sally Kornbluth announced this week.

The chancellor and provost charged the committee to conduct a national search looking both internally and externally to identify a diverse pool of candidates. The committee should seek an intellectual leader who will seek “the highest aspirations in faculty hiring and retention” and will be both a consensus builder as well as a decision maker.

Other qualities include:

  • an intellectual leader among the faculty, who can be expected to have the highest aspirations in developing and fulfilling the University’s research mission especially as it relates to global health,
  • an inspirational leader with a track record for mentorship and helping others to grow to greater levels of excellence,
  • an energetic and conscientious administrator broadly familiar with issues in global health and higher education,
  • a strong advocate for the University’s research mission in the context of the University’s strategic commitment to advancing excellence through diversity, providing a transformative educational experience, and strengthening Duke’s capacity to address global challenges,
  • a strong proponent for interdisciplinary research and a portfolio of global research projects,
  • a collaborator with fellow faculty, Deans, the President, Provost and Chancellor and other colleagues across Duke Health and Duke University in promoting University research priorities, an effective fundraiser with demonstrated success in this area,
  • both a consensus builder as well as a decision maker, and
  • a preeminent University citizen.

In addition to Gillian Schmidler, the other committee members are:

  • Tomi Akinyemiju, Associate Professor in Population Health Sciences
  • Sumi Ariely, Associate Professor of the Practice of Global Health
  • Gary Bennett, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education
  • Janet Bettger, Associate Professor in Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Dave Gendell, Chair, DGHI Board of Advisors
  • Megan Huchko, Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Marc Jeuland, Associate Professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy
  • Chris Newgard, W. David and Sarah W. Stedman Distinguished Professor of Nutrition in the School of Medicine
  • Charmaine Royal, Professor of African and African American Studies, Biology, Global Health, and Family Medicine and Community Health
  • Wendy Taylor, Member, DGHI Board of Advisors
  • Herman Pontzer, Associate Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology
  • Steve Taylor, Associate Professor of Medicine and Assistant Research Professor of Global Health
  • Avner Vengosh, Professor of Earth and Ocean Sciences
  • Kate Whetten, Professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy; Director, Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research, Research Director, Hart Fellows Program; Professor, Public Policy and Global Health; and Professor, Nursing and Community & Family Medicine

The goal is for the committee to present recommendations to the chancellor and provost by August 16, 2021.

The committee, which will be assisted by Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, is soliciting opinions, nominations and applications from members of the Duke community. Applications and nominations for the search, as well as requests pertaining to the search process, should be sent to