A Message from the Senior Vice Chancellor for the Health Sciences

Dear Members of the Health Sciences Community:

Following a highly competitive national search, I am excited to announce that I have selected Maureen Lichtveld, MD, MPH, as the next dean of Pitt’s Graduate School of Public Health. In this role, Dr. Lichtveld will oversee the growth and continued success of Pitt Public Health—a community that spans seven academic departments, 640 students, 160 faculty and 320 support staff.    

Dr. Lichtveld comes to us from Tulane University where she is a professor and most recently chair of the Department of Global Environmental Health Sciences and holds an endowed chair in environmental policy. She also serves as associate director for population sciences with the Tulane Cancer Center, where she oversees and coordinates all cancer population research, and as a member of the Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium’s Scientific Executive Committee. 

In addition, Dr. Lichtveld serves as director of the Center for Gulf Coast Environmental Health Research, Leadership and Strategic Initiatives within Tulane’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. In this role, she leads the development and implementation of innovative disaster management, health promotion and disease prevention strategies to enhance the health and well-being of Gulf Coast communities.

A member of the National Academy of Medicine, Dr. Lichtveld has nearly 40 years of experience in environmental public health. Her research focuses on environmentally induced disease, health disparities, environmental health policy, disaster preparedness, public health systems and community resilience.

Prior to arriving at Tulane, Dr. Lichtveld spent 18 years with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. There, she designed public health research tools and protocols—adopted by all states nationwide—to guide national environmental health studies in communities living near hazardous waste sites.

A widely respected researcher and scholar, Dr. Lichtveld serves on a number of boards, including the Consortium of Universities for Global Health, which counts 170 university member institutions all over the world. Among her many professional highlights: She has chaired the editorial board of the American Journal of Public Health for two terms and earned recognition as the CDC’s Environmental Health Scientist of the Year. She holds a Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University and a Doctor of Medicine from Anton de Kom University in Suriname and Leiden University in the Netherlands.   

With Dr. Lichtveld’s arrival impending, I would like to again recognize the leadership of Interim Dean Everette James, who took the helm of Pitt Public Health following Donald Burke’s 13-year tenure in the role. I am also grateful to all members of the search committee, who navigated unprecedented challenges—including but not limited to a global public health crisis—to bring this search to its successful conclusion. 

It’s also worth noting that this introduction falls far short of highlighting the full breadth of accomplishments and leadership demonstrated by Dr. Lichtveld’s career to date. I am confident that Dr. Lichtveld is poised to hit the ground running when she steps into her new role at Pitt on Jan. 1, 2021. I hope that you will all join me in giving her a warm welcome to campus.  


Anantha Shekhar, MD, PhD

Senior Vice Chancellor for the Health Sciences
John and Gertrude Petersen Dean, School of Medicine