Megan Ranney named dean of Yale School of Public Health

An internationally recognized public health leader, investigator, advocate, and clinician-scientist, Ranney will join Yale on July 1.
Megan L. Ranney

Megan L. Ranney

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, 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.”

Ranney will succeed Interim Dean Melinda Pettigrew, whose service began on July 1, 2022, as outgoing dean Dr. Sten Vermund returned to full-time teaching and research.

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.”

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