Dr. Thomas A. LaVeist named ASPPH Board of Directors Chair

Dean LaVeist with other members of the board

At the 2024 annual Association of Schools & Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) conference this spring, Dr. Thomas A. LaVeist was officially introduced as the 2024-2025 Chair of the ASPPH Board of Directors. 

In a speech at his introduction, LaVeist stressed that his focus in this role will be implementation, working to uphold the values of public health while still pursuing new achievements.

Such goals include recruiting Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), expanding beyond current borders globally, especially with Low- or Middle-Income Countries (LMICs), and finding better solutions to the current program rankings systems.

“We must respond to address the school rankings," LaVeist said. "The best school is the one that is right for that student.”

He also said he doesn't want to lose sight of the bigger picture, adding, “Our work is vital to the health and safety of eight billion people in the world.”

Thomas LaVeist giving his speech

The ASPPH serves as the collective voice of accredited academic public health, representing schools and programs accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH).

LaVeist is dean of the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans. He has been a prominent national leader on the topic of health inequities, particularly seeking to shed light on the social and behavioral factors that explain race differences in health outcomes.

The work has led LaVeist to produce a documentary, called “The Skin You’re In,” and establish a multi-media campaign exploring health injustice in the face of COVID-19. LaVeist has been a fervent voice in national media calling attention to this issue and was named as a co-chair of the Louisiana COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force by Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards. He has also led an effort among Black members of the National Academy of Medicine to urge Black Americans to get the vaccine when it became available.

LaVeist holds a doctorate in medical sociology from the University of Michigan and is an elected member of the prestigious National Academy of Medicine. He has published more than 130 articles in scientific journals, focusing on the social and behavioral factors that impact health outcomes, and has engaged in these issues through lectures and articles in major media.

ASPPH’s stated mission is to advance academic public health by mobilizing the collective power of members to drive excellence and innovation in education, research, and practice. 

As the leading voice of academic public health, the ASPPH advances excellence and innovation in teaching, research, and practice. By fostering a culture of awareness and inclusion, the ASPPH aims to strengthen collaboration with academic public health institutions around the world.