Claire E. Sterk Named President of Emory University

June 3, 2016

Dear Emory Community,

I am writing to share exciting news regarding the selection of Emory University’s next president.

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I am pleased to announce that Dr. Claire E. Sterk, who currently serves as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, has been named the 20th president of Emory. Dr. Sterk’s election was confirmed by a unanimous vote of the board during its meeting on campus this morning.

We simply could not ask for a better successor to President Jim Wagner. Dr. Sterk has been a valued member of the Emory community since her appointment to the faculty of the Rollins School of Public Health in 1995. She has served as the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Public Health, chair of the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, and associate dean for research. Prior to her appointment as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs in 2013, she served as interim provost and senior vice provost for academic affairs.

She will transition into the presidency over the summer and will officially become president on September 1.

We are tremendously proud and confident in the selection of Dr. Sterk to lead Emory. As you know, the Presidential Selection Committee spent most of January and February conducting more than 40 intensive listening and dialogue sessions with a broad range of constituents and stakeholders across the Emory community. Feedback from those sessions, as well as from online surveys, was used to develop the prospectus for the position that informed and guided the selection process.

The committee — assisted by its executive search partner Spencer Stuart — considered a very talented and diverse pool of candidates and was unanimous in its final decision. The caliber, experience, and enthusiasm of the candidates is further confirmation that being president of Emory is highly desirable and is viewed as a prestigious position in higher education. Emory is indeed fortunate to have such an outstanding reputation for its scholarship and leadership.

As we have said from the beginning, our committee’s top priority was to find the right president for Emory, and we are confident we have fulfilled that pledge.

I wish to express my deepest gratitude to the members of the Presidential Selection Committee for conducting such a thorough selection process that delivered a remarkable finalist for consideration by the Board of Trustees. It was a pleasure to serve with such a talented and dedicated group of individuals.

Members of the committee made an enormous commitment of professional and personal time to immerse themselves in this important undertaking. They are as follows: Rafi Ahmed, Susan A. Cahoon, Susan Cruse, Michelle Davis, John T. Glover, Robert C. Goddard III, Jonathan K. Layne, Carol Newsom, Leah Ward Sears, Raj Tilwa, Natasha Trethewey, Chilton D. Varner, Gregory J. Vaughn, and B. Michael Watson.

Thanks also to Peter Barnes, vice president for human resources, and Allison Dykes, vice president and secretary of the university, for their assistance and support throughout the process.

I wish to thank my colleagues on the Board of Trustees for their leadership and guidance throughout the process. Their insight and perspectives were critical during the design process for the search, as we developed the prospectus, and as we finalized the appointment.

I also wish to express our sincere thanks and appreciation to the entire Emory community — faculty, staff, students, alumni, Emory Healthcare physicians, and others — for your input and support throughout the selection process. You played an essential role in the selection process.

Finally, as we continue the transition, I wish to thank President Jim Wagner for his remarkable 13-year tenure as Emory’s 19th president. Emory has been the grateful beneficiary of his leadership, intellect, and wisdom. We will continue celebrating his many accomplishments as his presidency winds down.

This is a wonderful time to be a member of the Emory community. There is so much to be proud of and to celebrate. Please join me in congratulating and supporting Dr. Sterk as she embarks on this exciting new adventure. I know that I can count on the Emory community to contribute to her success in this important role.


John F. Morgan
Board of Trustees
Emory University