Dr. Megan L. Ranney, an internationally recognized public health leader, investigator, advocate, and clinician-scientist, will become dean of the Yale School of Public Health (YSPH) on July 1, President Peter Salovey announced today.
Ranney brings to Yale a 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.
“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,” Salovey wrote in a message to the university community. “She will work with colleagues and students to set a bold and inclusive vision for the future of public health.”
Ranney currently serves as the deputy dean of the Brown University School of Public Health and has been on the faculty there since 2008. She is also a professor of behavioral and social science, the Warren Alpert Endowed Professor of Emergency Medicine at Brown University’s Alpert Medical School, and the founding director of the Brown-Lifespan Center for Digital Health. “In these roles,” Salovey said, “Professor Ranney has led transformative initiatives that bridge research and curriculum development, clinical care improvement, community engagement, and national outreach.”
Said Ranney, “I am beyond honored to join Yale as dean of the School of Public Health, and I am looking forward to working with the faculty, students, staff, alumni, and larger New Haven community. Together, we will both build off YSPH’s extraordinary history and define a transformative vision of what public health education, scholarship, and practice can be in the 21st century.”
A leader in creating and implementing community-driven approaches to solve longstanding and emerging public health problems, Ranney has worked with diverse groups to address firearm injury and COVID-19, and to promote population-level health. Her funded research, which focuses primarily on developing, testing, and disseminating technology-augmented interventions to prevent violence and related behavioral health problems, has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the American Public Health Association, among many other organizations.
Ranney’s numerous national leadership roles include serving as co-founder and senior strategic advisor for the American Foundation for Firearm Injury Reduction in Medicine at the Aspen Institute, and co-founder of GetUsPPE.org, a start-up nonprofit that delivered donated personal protective equipment to those who needed it most at the outset of the COVID-19 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 Nonviolence Institute in Providence, Rhode Island.
Ranney holds an A.B. in the history of science from Harvard College and an M.D. from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. After completing her residency and chief residency in emergency medicine at Brown, she obtained her M.P.H. and completed an injury prevention research fellowship, also at Brown.
A prolific investigator, Ranney 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.
“I’m delighted that Dr. Ranney will be our next YSPH dean,” said Melinda Irwin, YSPH associate dean of research, Susan Dwight Bliss Professor of Epidemiology, and chair of the dean search advisory committee. “Her scientific accomplishments and leadership related to some of the most pressing public health challenges — including firearm injury, substance use, mental health, and infectious disease risk — combined with her extraordinary ability to communicate effectively, will propel YSPH forward as a leader in tackling these and other public health problems.
“YSPH has also benefited immensely this past year with Melinda Pettigrew as our interim dean,” Irwin added. “She has done herculean work in transitioning our school to financial independence.”
Said Pettigrew: “I share in our community’s delight in welcoming Dr. Ranney to Yale. Dr. Ranney’s exceptional leadership at Brown and preeminence in the field of public health make her superbly qualified to serve as dean of YSPH and steward its historic transition to an independent professional school. I look forward to working with her to advance the school’s academic, research, and practice enterprises at a time when the fulfillment of our mission is especially urgent.”
Salovey extended his gratitude to Pettigrew and Vermund, and noted that as dean, Ranney will “benefit from all that YSPH faculty, students, staff, and alumni accomplished with their exceptional leadership.”
About Yale School of Public Health:
“From its origins as one of the nation’s first accredited schools of public health to its current standing as one of the top public health schools in the country, the Yale School of Public Health has always been a leader and force for innovation. This proud tradition continues under the leadership of Interim Dean Melinda Pettigrew, a renowned investigator and award-winning educator whose commitment to scholarship, research, and public health practice will drive the school’s success as it begins its historic transition to a self-supporting independent graduate school at Yale.
In a career spanning two decades at the Yale School of Public Health (YSPH), Dean Pettigrew, PhD ’99, has been instrumental in enriching and expanding the school’s educational programs, first as associate dean of academic affairs (2011-2017), then as senior associate dean for academic affairs (2017-2022), and most recently as deputy dean of YSPH. Under Dean Pettigrew’s stewardship, YSPH launched a new track in maternal and child health promotion as well as multidisciplinary concentrations in U.S. health justice, climate change, and public health modeling that provide students with the critical skills and knowledge they need to address the most pressing public health issues facing the world today. The school also launched new online degree and certificate programs, making it easier for students to access and learn from Yale’s world-renowned scholars and scientists. A popular and innovative Executive MPH program blends comprehensive online education with in-person leadership and management training on the Yale campus, creating a unique and powerful educational experience for busy professionals seeking a strong public health education and advanced public health training in their area of interest. A strong proponent of collaboration and innovation, Dean Pettigrew also fostered new partnerships between YSPH’s academic community and public health and community organizations that broadened student opportunities to apply their skills through immersive internships and real-world training programs.
An internationally recognized infectious disease epidemiologist, Dean Pettigrew is also the school’s Anna M.R. Lauder Professor of Epidemiology (Microbial Diseases). Her research centers on the molecular epidemiology of infectious diseases, particularly as it pertains to the growing global public health threat of antibiotic resistance. She is currently utilizing next-generation sequence technologies and a one-health approach to examine the complex relationships between the microbiome, antibiotic exposure, and risk of colonization and infection due to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. In recognition of her outstanding research, Dean Pettigrew serves on the Steering and Executive Committees for the Antibiotic Resistance Leadership Group (ARLG), an association of more than 100 leading experts working together to combat the antibacterial resistance crisis and improve patient care. She also serves as chair of the ARLG’s Diversity Working Group, where she leads efforts to implement and integrate principles of diversity, access, equity, and inclusion throughout the ARLG.
Creating communities where individuals can thrive within a supportive environment that promotes diversity, belonging, inclusion, and equity is a foundational principle of Dean Pettigrew’s approach to leadership. She has completed a fellowship from the prestigious Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) program for women and was a Public Voices Thought Leaders Fellow. At YSPH, Dean Pettigrew has served as deputy Title IX coordinator and as a member of the President’s Committee on Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging at Yale.
Since its founding, the Yale School of Public Health has distinguished itself as an institution known for its leadership, innovation, strong sense of community, and collaborative environment. Today, YSPH carries forth that mission by aligning students’ interest in social justice, eliminating health inequities, and improving the world around us with all that Yale University’s robust resources have to offer. It is a unique approach reflected in the school’s brand – “The Passion of You. The Promise of Yale.” Melinda Pettigrew brings the best of these attributes into her role as interim dean of YSPH as she helps educate and train the next generation of public health leaders and guides the school into the next stage of its proud and distinguished history.“
About Megan L. Ranney, MD, MPH, FACEP:
Megan Ranney MD MPH is a practicing emergency physician, researcher, and advocate for innovative approaches to health. Her work focuses on the intersection between digital health, violence prevention, and population health.
She is the Deputy Dean of the School of Public Health, as well as founding Director of the Brown-Lifespan Center for Digital Health (https://digitalhealth.med.brown.edu/). She is co-founder and Senior Strategic Advisor to the American Foundation for Firearm Injury Reduction in Medicine (AFFIRM) at the Aspen Institute (www.affirmresearch.org), which creates practical, scalable, and immediate health-based solutions to reduce all forms of firearm-related injuries in the United States. She recently served as co-founder and president of the board for GetUsPPE.org, a startup dedicated to matching donated personal protective equipment to those who need it most. She is a Fellow of the fifth class of the Aspen Health Innovators Fellowship Program and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
She graduated from Harvard University summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in History of Science in 1997. She served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cote d’Ivoire prior to attending medical school at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons in NYC. She graduated with AOA status and received the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine award from the Gold Humanism Society on graduation. She completed internship, residency, and chief residency in Emergency Medicine, as well as a fellowship in Injury Prevention Research and a Master of Public Health, at Brown University.
She is currently the Warren Alpert Endowed Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Alpert Medical School of Brown University and a Professor of Behavioral and Social Science / Health Services, Policy, and Practice at the School of Public Health. She is a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians. She has previously served as an appointed member of HIMSS’ mHealth Physician Taskforce, an elected member of the Board of Directors of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, and chair of the Firearm Injury Research Technical Advisory Group for the American College of Emergency Physicians. She has been PI or Co-I over a dozen federally funded grants, all focused on technology-based interventions for high risk populations.
Her work has been featured by hundreds of media outlets, including CNN, MSNBC, the BBC, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Fox News.