You are here: American University Provost Communications May 25, 2022

American University Office of the Provost

MemorandumMay 25, 2022

AU Community
Peter Starr, Provost and Chief Academic Officer
Dean of the School of International Service

It gives me great pleasure to announce that Shannon Hader will join American University as the next dean of the School of International Service following a thorough national search. A public health scholar, physician, global health expert and diplomat, and dynamic leader, Dr. Hader comes to AU after most recently serving as Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and Deputy Executive Director of Programmes at the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) in Geneva, Switzerland. In this role, she helped to coordinate the efforts of 11 diverse UN Agencies for interdisciplinary solutions to combat AIDS worldwide. She will begin her new position on July 1, 2022. 

Throughout her career, Dr. Hader has worked across research, politics, and policy areas at the local, national, and international levels. She has demonstrated a commitment to pursuing multi-disciplinary solutions to complex problems and building collaborations among public and private sector organizations, often with academic partners. Dr. Hader has extensive experience developing shared strategy, leading teams through transition, creating new partnerships, and championing inclusive excellence. Based on her impressive background, she is particularly well suited to support AU’s outstanding faculty as SIS continues to excel at research and scholarship and educating the next generation of leaders.  

While serving as Director of the Division of Global HIV and TB at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 2014–2017, Dr. Hader was responsible for managing programs across more than 40 countries, with nearly 2,000 staff, and a $2.4 billion budget. Her past leadership roles include Vice President and Director at Futures Group International (now Palladium); Senior Deputy Director of the HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD, and TB Administration for the District of Columbia Department of Health; Senior Scientific Advisor to the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief at the US Department of State; and Director of CDC-Zimbabwe. In 2018, Dr. Hader ran for US Congress in Washington’s 8th Congressional District. Among many other honors, she has been selected as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellow, was part of Leadership Greater Washington’s class of 2015, and received the Whitman-Walker Clinic (now Whitman-Walker Health) Community Service Award. 

Dr. Hader’s scholarly work spans several of AU’s areas of strategic focus—notably, health, data science, and social equity—and includes numerous peer-reviewed articles; production of multiple reports, white papers, and other government documents; and oversight of research teams. An internationally recognized thought leader, she has also delivered a wide range of presentations and has a popular media presence through opinion pieces, blogs, and television, print, video, and podcast interviews. Dr. Hader has taught and mentored a variety of students, serving as a Katherine Haughton Hepburn Visiting Fellow at Bryn Mawr College and an adjunct clinical professor at the Emory University School of Medicine.  

A first-generation university graduate, Dr. Hader earned her MD and MPH degrees from Columbia University and holds a degree in Biological Sciences from Stanford University. She has been board-certified in internal medicine, pediatrics, and infectious diseases and cared for patients in the United States, Brazil, China, Jamaica, and Zimbabwe.

The School of International Service, consistently ranked a top-10 school of international affairs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, was founded in 1957, answering President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s call to prepare students of international affairs to “wage peace.” SIS leads the field in the conception and delivery of innovative programs that prepare students for impactful careers at the intersection of such intractable global challenges as health, climate change, poverty, food insecurity, nuclear proliferation, and democratic backsliding, making this a pivotal and exciting time for Dr. Hader to take the school’s helm.

I am deeply grateful to Christine Chin for her exceptional contributions as dean since 2017. I would also like to express my appreciation to the many SIS faculty, staff, and students who have been engaged throughout the search process, with special thanks to the members of the search committee, expertly led by Patrick Thaddeus Jackson, for their hard work in recruiting this outstanding new dean for SIS.   

Please join me in welcoming Shannon to American University!