Marcus named dean of public health at Brown

Bess Marcus has been named dean of the School of Public Health at Brown University.

PROVIDENCE – Bess Marcus has been selected to serve as the next dean of the School of Public Health at Brown University.

Marcus, a clinical psychologist and leading scholar in health behavior changes, was a professor of community health and psychiatry and human behavior at Brown from 1991 to 2011 before departing to serve as the first senior associate dean for public health at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine.

She will begin her tenure as dean on November 1, succeeding Terrie Fox Wetle, who has served as the school’s inaugural dean since 2013.

“Bess Marcus is not only an accomplished public health scholar and teacher in her own right, but also brings a remarkable track record of promoting public health research and education as a senior leader at UCSD,” said Christina Paxson, president of the university. “Her collaborative leadership style and strong commitment to advancing high-impact research will be instrumental in inspiring students and faculty to confront the wide array of complex public health challenges that face society.”

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Marcus served as chair of the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health at the UCSD School of Medicine for six years and the school’s senior associate dean for public health for three. In her tenure as dean at UCSD, Marcus founded and directed the UCSD Institute for Public Health. She holds a master’s degree and doctorate in clinical psychology from Auburn University in addition to a B.A. in psychology from Washington University.

“I’m excited and honored by the opportunity to return to Brown to lead the School of Public Health at such a critical time, given all of the local, national and global health challenges facing us, from obesity to climate change to so much more,” Marcus said. “One of the factors that’s so exciting is the richness of the university itself – addressing important, complex issues related to population health is a central part of Brown’s mission.”

Initially a department of Brown’s Warren Alpert Medical School, the School of Public Health became fully accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health in 2016. The school has more than 200 faculty and 275 undergraduate and graduate students, and is now home to 12 research centers.

Nicole Dotzenrod is a PBN contributor.