UW News

May 2, 2018

Hilary Godwin named dean of the School of Public Health

UW News

Hilary Godwin has been named the next dean of the University of Washington’s School of Public Health, President Ana Mari Cauce and Provost Jerry Baldasty announced today. Her appointment, set to begin July 15, 2018, is subject to approval by the UW Board of Regents.

Godwin currently is professor and associate dean in the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. She is nationally recognized for her teaching and leadership, in addition to her interdisciplinary, collaborative research on nanotoxicology and the chemistry of lead poisoning and its impact on public health.

“We are enthusiastic that Dr. Godwin will join our university-wide work on population health. She has the remarkable ability to work across disciplines and perspectives. She understands the role that everyone — faculty, students and staff — can play in our vision to create a world in which all people can live healthier and more fulfilling lives,” said Baldasty.


Hilary Godwin will be the next dean of the UW’s School of Public HealthUniversity of Washington

Trained in chemistry and biophysics, Godwin has supervised research programs in mechanistic toxicology and environmental health for more than 20 years. In addition to researching lead poisoning, her interests include the impacts of climate change on public health, efficacy of conservation programs and policies on indigenous populations, and community-based approaches to addressing environmental health problems.

As a UCLA Distinguished Teacher Award recipient, Godwin brings to the UW extensive experience in teaching and advising. Her leadership acumen and academic credentials are outstanding, as is her track record of working for, and within, communities to solve difficult problems that affect the public’s health. At UCLA, she has cultivated future leaders among faculty through recruiting, coaching, mentoring and promoting professional development.

“The University of Washington is a truly special place and I look forward to joining the School of Public Health and working collaboratively with a broad range of stakeholders to leverage their many existing strengths to help make the school, campus and surrounding community even stronger and healthier,” Godwin said.

Godwin began her career as assistant professor at Northwestern University, and was appointed chair of its chemistry department. After serving as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute professor, she moved to UCLA where she was chair of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences. Since 2014, she has served as associate dean for academic programs in the Fielding School of Public Health, a position she also held from 2008-2011. Currently, Godwin holds professorial appointments in both the Department of Environmental Health Sciences in the Fielding School of Public Health and in UCLA’s Institute of Environment and Sustainability.

While at Northwestern, Godwin received a $1 million award from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to develop a program to help students, particularly those at risk, who are interested in the sciences transition from high school to college. Through the program, she strengthened her connections with local health departments and community-based organizations working on lead poisoning prevention. The experience was the primary reason she transitioned from chemistry to public health.

Godwin earned her Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry with honors from the University of Chicago, followed by her doctorate in physical chemistry from Stanford University. She completed a National Institutes of Health fellowship at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Medicine.