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Rollins School of Public Health appoints new endowed chair in sanitation and water

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An internationally recognized leader in sanitation and safe water, Thomas Clasen, JD, PhD, has been appointed as the Rose Salamone Gangarosa Chair in Sanitation and Safe Water in the Department of Environmental Health at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health. Clasen’s duties will begin Aug.19, 2013.  

The chair is named in honor of Rose Salamone Gangarosa, a lifelong advocate committed to global safe water and sanitation issues along with her husband, Eugene J. Gangarosa, professor emeritus of Global Health at Emory University and an internationally recognized expert on waterborne diseases. The Rose Salamone Gangarosa Chair is the second chair to be endowed by Rose Salamone and Eugene J. Gangarosa. Clasen is the first to hold the position that was funded by the Rose Salamone Gangarosa endowment established in 2011.

"Dr. Clasen has had a highly distinguished career as a trailblazer on health issues of global importance,” says Jim Curran, MD, MPH, dean of Rollins School of Public Health. "His presence here at Rollins will advance the water and sanitation program to new heights."

After 20 years as a successful international corporate lawyer, Clasen turned his focus to global health, obtaining a doctorate from the University of London and joining the faculty at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) in 2004. He has since published over 65 peer-reviewed papers and developed a stellar record in applied research and supervision of graduate students.

Clasen has advised governments in Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, served on advisory panels and undertaken research for the World Health Organization, UNICEF, OXFAM, PATH and USAID, and has consulted and conducted research for private companies such as Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Verstergaard-Frandsen and Medentech. 

"We are extremely proud to announce that Dr. Clasen has been named to this prestigious endowed chair," says Christine Moe, PhD, Eugene J. Gangarosa professor of Safe Water and Sanitation and director of the Center for Global Safe Water at Emory University. "Dr. Clasen’s research has led to great strides in our understanding of the health impact of water and sanitation interventions in developing countries. His expertise and experience, including his unique background in the private sector, will be a tremendous contribution to our research program and to our students as we train and mentor future global health leaders in this area.”

Clasen will bring his current research to Rollins, including a major Gates Foundation project in India, and a national level campaign in Rwanda, providing research platforms for Rollins students to gain valuable experience in public health practice.


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