We are pleased to share that Dr. Nancy Messonnier, an influential public health leader at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and, most recently, Executive Director of Pandemic Prevention and Health Systems at the Skoll Foundation, has been named dean of the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. , from the 1st of September. She brings to Carolina more than 25 years of experience as a public health leader.
Messonnier began her public health career in 1995 at the CDC as an epidemic intelligence officer and has held various leadership roles at the CDC, including first as deputy director and then director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases from 2014 to 2021. Her many achievements include leading roles in the development and implementation of a low-cost vaccine to prevent epidemic meningitis in Africa; in response to the 2001 anthrax attacks; and in promoting confidence in vaccines and addressing disparities in immunization coverage.
Messonnier led the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases and its response to an unknown respiratory illness in China in late 2019 and later to the COVID-19 pandemic. She served as the CDC’s chief architect of the COVID-19 vaccine implementation program and helped develop, evaluate, and distribute COVID-19 vaccines in the United States.
While at the Skoll Foundation, a private foundation that invests in social entrepreneurs and other innovators promoting solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems, Messonnier helped lead efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic and build a global response system. and preparedness to prevent future pandemics.
She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and her doctor of medicine from the University of Chicago School of Medicine. She completed her residency training in internal medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
Messonnier joins Gillings School during an exciting period of success. The school is ranked the #1 public school for public health and second overall by the U.S. News & World Report. Gillings School has been ranked among the best schools and programs in public health since the magazine first ranked schools of public health in 1987.
Gillings also ranks first among schools of public health in funding from the National Institutes of Health, and faculty members have received more than $1 billion in research since 2016. This funding supports innovative research, education, and practice across the board. 100 North Carolina counties, 47 countries and five continents.
Thanks to Dean Barbara K. Rimer for her incredible leadership over the past 17 years that has built UNC Gillings into one of the world’s premier schools of public health. In addition, we would like to thank the members of the search committee chaired by Dr. William L. Roper, former dean of UNC Gillings as well as former CEO of UNC Health, vice chancellor for medical affairs and dean of the UNC School of Medicine. Serving as vice president was Dr. Giselle Corbie, Kenan Distinguished Professor, Departments of Medicine and Social Medicine, Director of the UNC Center for Health Equity Research and Associate Dean of UNC Rural.
Join us in thanking Barbara, Bill and Giselle and welcoming Nancy to Carolina.
J. Christopher ClemensProvost and Academic Director