The Tulane community was saddened to learn of the death of Dr. Harrison Spencer, president and CEO of the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH). While the entire public health community mourns the loss of such a staunch advocate for the field, the Tulane community particularly feels his loss as a former dean of the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.
Spencer spent much of his career with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), serving in El Salvador; Nairobi, Kenya; and Geneva, Switzerland before becoming chief of the CDC’s Parasitic Diseases Branch. In 1991, he took on the helm of the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, becoming a beloved presence and a champion of public health education. In 1996, Spencer became dean of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and in 2000 he assumed leadership of the Association of Schools of Public Health, the organization immediately preceding ASPPH.v
Spencer continued to have a close relationship with Tulane and served as an adjunct professor in the school. In 2012, at the school’s Centennial Celebration, he provided the introductory address for the Global Health Symposium.
“It has been my pleasure to work with Harrison over the years,” said Dr. Pierre Buekens, dean of the school. “He has been a tireless advocate for public health education as well as a good friend to the school. Under his leadership, the ASPPH has grown tremendously, with more and more students choosing public health education and careers. Our field is stronger for the role he has played in it.”