AIDS Researcher Chosen as New Dean of School of Public Health

David R. Holtgrave

ALBANY, N.Y. (Nov. 16, 2017) — David R. Holtgrave, chair of the Department of Health, Behavior and Society at Johns Hopkins University who formerly led the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s HIV/AIDS research and support division, has been named the new dean of the School of Public Health, Provost James R. Stellar announced today.

His appointment is effective March 1, 2018.

“David is a nationally prominent researcher and academic leader with strong management expertise,” Stellar said. “His appointment will further propel the expansion of our health sciences enterprise. We welcome him with great enthusiasm.”

“David Holtgrave is an excellent leader who will fully leverage UAlbany’s significant academic and research assets in the School of Public Health,” said University at Albany President Havidán Rodríguez. “David can significantly contribute to strengthening and expanding the health sciences and biomedical research. I am confident he will build on the achievements of our many partnerships in this area, especially with Wadsworth Laboratories and the New York State Department of Health.”

In addition to being named dean, Holtgrave was awarded a tenured faculty position as professor of health policy and behavior in the School of Public Health and named a SUNY Empire Innovation Professor.

He will be coming to UAlbany from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, where he is an endowed professor and founding chair of the Department of Health, Behavior and Society at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, a position he has held since 2005.

Before that he was professor, vice chair and director of graduate studies in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health. From 1997-2001 he served as director of the CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention — Intervention Research and Support.

Holtgrave has devoted his career to addressing public health challenges such as preventing HIV and ensuring care and stable housing for people living with HIV. He is interested in not only making a public health impact, but also addressing the very disproportionate burden HIV and other public health challenges place on underserved communities.

His research has focused on the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of HIV prevention and care interventions and how such findings can be used in public policy making. He has also studied relationships between social capital measures, infection disease rates and health risk behavior. He served on the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS during President Obama’s Administration.

Holtgrave received his Ph.D. in quantitative psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and was a post-doctoral research fellow at Harvard University School of Public Health. A native of St. Louis, he did his undergraduate work at the University of Missouri at St. Louis.

The School of Public Health (SPH), a partnership between the New York State Department of Health and the University at Albany, offers an education based on cutting-edge research and practice-based experience. Holtgrave replaces former Dean Philip C. Nasca, who retired Jan. 1. Laura Schweitzer, the University’s vice president for health sciences, has served as interim dean since then.

“Dr. Holtgrave’s research expertise in the realms of both health disparities and HIV are synergistic with our health sciences research strengths,” said Schweitzer, who will continue her work as vice president. “His experiences stewarding a major department at Johns Hopkins and with the CDC will serve the University well.”

“UAlbany SPH has a very important arrangement with the State Health Department unlike any other in the United States, and I am profoundly excited, honored and humbled to be a new part of this team,” Holtgrave said. “The School already has outstanding students, faculty and staff, all of whom are eager to take the next big leap forward in further improving the public health and building health equity in Albany, New York State and around the globe. SPH is indeed poised to revolutionize the science of public health impact.”

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