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Emory Trustees Announce Claire Sterk Will Be New President

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Emory University will soon have a new president.

The university’s Board of Trustees announced Friday that Claire E. Sterk, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the school, will be Emory’s 20th president, according to a press release. She was elected by a unanimous vote of the trustees.

“Claire Sterk is a confident leader, an accomplished academic administrator, and a respected researcher,” said John Morgan, chair of the Emory University Board of Trustees and chair of the Presidential Selection Committee, in the press release. “She has a sophisticated knowledge and understanding of Emory and is passionate about leveraging Emory’s considerable strengths and assets to enhance its global reputation and reach.”

A native of the Netherlands, Sterk will become the first woman to serve as the university’s president when she begins her new role Sept. 1. She will succeed James W. Wagner, who served as president for 13 years. He has announced he will retire at the end of August.

“I am deeply grateful to the trustees for this extraordinary opportunity to serve as Emory’s president,” Sterk said in the press release. “Emory has earned its place among the world’s premier comprehensive research universities, and is well known for its undergraduate, graduate, and professional education; its leadership in research and scholarship across all disciplines; and an unsurpassed culture of innovation and collaboration. I look forward to engaging with all members of the Emory community to develop a shared vision for future success.”

Sterk joined Emory in 1995, when she joined the faculty of the Rollins School of Public Health. At the university, she has served as the Charles Howard Candler professor of public health, chair of the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, associate dean for research and senior vice provost for academic affairs, according to the press release. Sterk has been the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs since 2013.

She received her Ph.D. in sociology from Erasmus University in Rotterdam and her doctorandus degree in medical anthropology from the University of Utrecht.