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Emory President Claire E. Sterk announces retirement, effective August 2020

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Will continue to serve on faculty; Board of Trustees will launch search for new president

ATLANTA -- President Claire E. Sterk has notified the Emory University Board of Trustees that she will be retiring as president, effective August 2020. The Board has accepted her retirement and will be launching a search for a successor.

“It has been my great honor and privilege to serve as president of Emory University. I’ve been a part of this institution for more than 24 years, and I’m genuinely amazed at the advancements we’ve made in that time. In my tenure as president, I’m especially proud that we’ve increased research funding by approximately 28 percent and strengthened our bonds with the city of Atlanta. And I want to pay tribute to the students and alumni who have inspired me throughout my career,” Sterk said.

“As I assessed where the university stands and what I want from my life at this point, I concluded that now is the right time to begin the transition. I will work closely with the Board and the leadership team to help support the new president as I was supported when I assumed the role. Also, I’m happy to say this decision doesn’t end my relationship with Emory. While I long for a little more free time, my passion has always been public health. To that end, I will cap off my career by returning to my roots as a professor in the Rollins School of Public Health,” she added.

Robert Goddard, chairman of the Board of Trustees, expressed gratitude and appreciation on behalf of the university community for Sterk’s service. “President Sterk has left a lasting impact on Emory. As a member of the faculty, provost and president, she has dedicated her life to making this a world-class institution. Her passion for diversity, her international experience and perspective and her exceptional record of scholarship have been and will continue to be great assets for Emory. We are all better for her service and I’m glad she will continue to serve Emory as a member of the faculty,” he stated.

At the Board’s request, Sterk will remain as president through the end of August 2020. This will ensure a smooth transition and allow the university to undertake a thorough and thoughtful search for a successor. After her tenure as president concludes, Sterk, who was recently chosen as a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, will take a sabbatical before returning to the faculty as Charles Howard Candler Professor of Public Health.

Goddard expressed confidence in Emory’s strategic plan and added that the Board will move promptly to identify potential presidential candidates. “We look forward to the process of identifying our next leader. I know we will find great candidates both from our existing leadership team and from across the country. Emory has made tremendous progress over the last few decades, but the years ahead promise to be our most challenging and rewarding. We are confident we will find the right leader to help us meet our goals,” Goddard said.

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