Harvard dean tapped as University of Miami president

Julio Frenk, dean of the Harvard School of Public Health, has been named president of the University of Miami.

Frenk, 61, has led the School of Public Health since 2009, and previously served as Mexico’s health minister. He will replace Donna Shalala, who is retiring after serving as president of Miami for 15 years.

The University of Miami board announced Frenk’s appointment Monday afternoon.


“I feel honored and humbled by the extraordinary opportunity to lead this great university in one of the most important cities in the world,” Frenk said in a statement. “I have been greatly impressed by the strategic vision that has driven President Donna Shalala and the upward momentum she has created during her outstanding presidency,” said Frenk.

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Harvard President Drew Faust praised Frenk’s leadership at Harvard.

“It’s clear from their choice that the University of Miami’s trustees share Julio’s own qualities of wisdom and foresight, and that they have discovered in him the remarkable leadership capacity and vision with which he has graced Harvard these past six years,” Faust said in a statement.

Frenk is regarded as an expert on global health. He was minister of health of Mexico from 2000 to 2006, and was the founding director-general of the National Institute of Public Health in Mexico, according to his Harvard biography.

In 1998, he joined the World Health Organization as executive director in charge of Evidence and Information for Policy, which works to develop a scientific foundation for health policy.


Most recently, he served as a senior fellow in the global health program of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and as president of the Carso Health Institute in Mexico City.