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Heidi van Rooyen, PhD, will serve as the next chair of the Department of Global Health at the UW School of Medicine and UW School of Public Health starting October 1, 2024 (pending Board of Regents approval).

Van Rooyen is an internationally recognized and accomplished clinical psychologist, social scientist, leader and scholar. She has served as the group executive for the Impact Centre at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) in South Africa since 2020 and has served in a variety of different leadership roles at the council since 2004.

“Dr. van Rooyen is an outstanding leader and social science researcher at the intersection of public health, data-driven science and policy development focused on community impact, understanding global inequities, and advancing health equity,” says Tim Dellit, MD, CEO UW Medicine and the Paul G. Ramsey Endowed Dean of the UW School of Medicine. “On behalf of the UW Schools of Medicine and Public Health, Dean Hilary Godwin and I support Dr. van Rooyen’s vision for the Department and are excited to have her join our team of leaders.”

Van Rooyen will lead a department committed to sustainable, quality health worldwide through research, education, training and service.

“Personally and professionally, I have been driven by a need to understand and address how inequities in gender, race, sexual orientation and place, both individually and collectively, impact health outcomes,” says van Rooyen. “As the new chair at the Department of Global Health, I am excited to deepen this work and to collectively consider how we, as a department, can reduce global health disparities and advance health equity.”

Van Rooyen will succeed Carey Farquhar, MD, who has served as interim chair since 2022. The department has more than 250 students, 350 faculty and 300 staff.

Learn more about van Rooyen and her new role as chair from the UW School of Public Health Blog.