Announcement – Dean of the School of Public Health

January 31, 2023

Dear Members of the Yale Community,

I am delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Megan L. Ranney as dean of the Yale School of Public Health, effective July 1, 2023. Professor Ranney is an internationally recognized public health leader, investigator, advocate, and clinician-scientist. She brings to Yale a remarkable track record of driving innovations in public health teaching, research, and practice. Her career is distinguished by a deep commitment to working with communities to identify and address complex public health challenges, especially those that burden historically underserved or marginalized populations.

Professor Ranney will join Yale from Brown University, where she has been on the faculty since 2008, most recently serving as the deputy dean of the School of Public Health. She is also a professor of behavioral and social science, the Warren Alpert Endowed Professor of Emergency Medicine at Alpert Medical School at Brown, and the founding director of the Brown-Lifespan Center for Digital Health. In these roles, Professor Ranney has led transformative initiatives that bridge research and curriculum development, clinical care improvement, community engagement, and national outreach.

A leader in creating and implementing community-driven approaches to solve longstanding and emerging public health problems, she has worked with diverse groups to address firearm injury, COVID-19, and the use of digital technology to promote population-level health. Her funded research focuses primarily on developing, testing, and disseminating technology-augmented interventions to prevent violence and related behavioral health problems, such as substance use and mental illness. Her work has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, American Public Health Association, and many other organizations. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine.

Professor Ranney has held multiple national leadership roles, including co-founder and senior strategic advisor for the American Foundation for Firearm Injury Reduction in Medicine at the Aspen Institute, a nonprofit committed to ending the gun violence epidemic through a non-partisan public health approach, and co-founder of, a start-up nonprofit that delivered donated personal protective equipment to those who needed it most in the early days of the COVID pandemic. She is a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network and serves on the board of trustees for the National Opioid Abatement Trust and on the board of directors for the Non-violence Institute in Providence, RI.

Professor Ranney graduated from Harvard College with an A.B. in the history of science and earned her M.D. from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. After completing her residency and chief residency in emergency medicine at Brown University’s Department of Emergency Medicine, she obtained her M.P.H. and completed an injury prevention research fellowship at Brown. A prolific investigator, she has authored more than 150 peer-reviewed research publications and dozens of other scientific papers and book chapters. She also serves as an internationally trusted voice on a broad range of public health issues, including the COVID-19 pandemic, violence prevention, and mental health, through testimonies and consultation to Congress, op-eds and other columns in major media outlets, appearances on news networks, and guidance for non-governmental organizations.

Driving Professor Ranney’s work is a belief that the world’s health improves only when diverse voices and experiences are elevated and included. This philosophy can be traced from her service as a Peace Corps volunteer in Cote d’Ivoire, to her decision to pursue emergency medicine, based on her realization that emergency departments serve as the safety net of the American health care system. Her own research program is marked by this core philosophy; she works to create more effective and equitable public health systems and practices in partnership with communities. And this belief is reflected in her leadership of non-profit organizations, her mentorship of students and staff, and the progress she has made at Brown’s School of Public Health, including improved engagement with a broad range of local community groups and enhanced access to professional school education for students of all backgrounds.

A recipient of numerous awards for her teaching, research, and community service, Professor Ranney is looking forward to drawing on her extensive career experiences to lead the Yale School of Public Health. She will work with colleagues and students to set a bold and inclusive vision for the future of public health. As dean, Professor Ranney will benefit from all that YSPH faculty, students, staff, and alumni accomplished with Professor Sten Vermund and Professor Melinda Pettigrew’s exceptional leadership.

Finally, and importantly, I know that although Professor Ranney will quickly switch her allegiance from Harvard to Yale for The Game, her life-long loyalty to the Buffalo Bills will remain unchanged. I also welcome her husband and two children to the Yale community.

I would like to take this opportunity to share my heartfelt gratitude to Interim Dean Melinda Pettigrew for her exemplary service at the helm of the school during the transition. To YSPH faculty, students, and staff, you have my sincere appreciation for your inspiring work and service to improve the health and well-being of communities across the world. I also am grateful to the members of the search advisory committee, chaired by Professor Melinda Irwin, and to members of the Yale community who provided the committee and me recommendations and comments during the search process.

I invite you to join me in warmly and enthusiastically welcoming Professor Ranney and her family to Yale!


Peter Salovey
Chris Argyris Professor of Psychology