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Congratulations to David Holtgrave


Dear Colleagues,

It is with mixed emotions that I let you know that David Holtgrave has accepted an appointment as Dean of the School of Public Health at the University at Albany, State University of New York. We are excited for David and congratulate him on this appointment. He will be sorely missed, but we know he will bring his many qualities to this new position, and will continue his distinguished career as an outstanding scientist, teacher and staunch public health advocate.

As you know, David joined the Bloomberg School in August 2005 as professor and chair of a newly created department, the Department of Health, Behavior and Society, where he has held an endowed professorship, both of which were established with a generous gift from Bloomberg Philanthropies. Under David’s leadership, Health, Behavior and Society has become a vibrant department dedicated to research and training that advances our understanding of how to change human behaviors to improve public health. During his tenure, HBS grew from a department of 22 to nearly 60 full-time faculty.

Trained in quantitative psychology, David has worked extensively in the field of HIV prevention since 1991. His research has focused on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of HIV prevention interventions and the translation of those study findings to HIV prevention policy. He has been especially passionate about research to address HIV disparities in underserved communities. He has held notable posts, including director of the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention – Intervention Research and Support at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from 1997 to 2001, as well as vice-chair of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS in the Obama administration.

David is an inspired, dedicated teacher and mentor who has guided countless students during his time at the School. He won the Golden Apple award in 2014. Under his stewardship, the School launched the Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion in 2014 with a gift from Sid and Helaine Lerner, long-time friends of the School. The Center, which is based in the Department of Health, Behavior and Society, develops and disseminates programs that encourage healthy behaviors and trains faculty and students in health promotion and advocacy.

Before joining Hopkins, David was a professor at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. He had previously served on the faculty at the Center for AIDS Intervention Research at the Medical College of Wisconsin. David’s impressive publishing credits include over 300 professional publications. He edited The Handbook of Economic Evaluation for HIV Prevention Programs (Plenum Press, 1998). Along with colleagues from AIDS United and Johns Hopkins University, he co-authored “Improving Access to HIV Care: Lessons from Five U.S. Sites” (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015).

David will assume the deanship at Albany on March 1 of next year. I am pleased to let you know that Peg Ensminger has graciously agreed to step in as Interim Chair upon David’s departure. David’s last day at Hopkins will be February 20, 2018. Also, David Celentano will chair the Committee to search for a new leader for the department. I am grateful to both Peg and David for agreeing to take on these important responsibilities. I am also grateful to David Holtgrave for his commitment to helping with the transition.

Warm regards,

Ellen MacKenzie Signature

Ellen J. MacKenzie, PhD ’79, MSc ’75

Bloomberg Distinguished Professor
Bloomberg School of Public Health
The Johns Hopkins University