Leadership Team


Dean Linda P. Fried, MD, MPH

Linda P. Fried, MD, MPH
Dean and DeLamar Professor of Public Health; Director, Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center

Dean Fried is a world-renowned geriatrician and epidemiologist. Since her appointment as Dean in 2008, she has led the transformation of Columbia Mailman School of Public Health’s MPH and doctoral programs into interdisciplinary education that provides strong grounding in public health and expertise for leadership in the 21st Century. Under her leadership, the School has developed novel translational programs in interdisciplinary science, including health impacts of climate change; lifecourse bases for achieving public health; data science for health; and the creation of the Program in Global Health Justice and Governance, the Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion and the Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center.

Vice Deans

Ying Kuen Cheung, PhD
Vice Dean for Faculty
Professor, Biostatistics


Dr. Cheung joined the faculty of Biostatistics at Columbia Mailman in 2000 and has since served on numerous department-level and school-level initiatives. In his role as Vice Dean for Faculty, Dr. Cheung oversees the faculty hiring plan, recruitment, mentoring, promotion, and tenure process across the Mailman School; he strives to promote a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion across the faculty community. He was the founding Director of Pharmaceutical Statistics track in Biostatistics; chaired the school-wide Precision Public Health Taskforce; and led the FORWARD action corps on faculty/staff recruitment and retention. He is a recipient of IBM Faculty Award on Big Data and Analytics. He is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association, and a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine.

Sami Jarrah, Vice Dean for Finance and Administration

Sami Jarrah, MPH
Vice Dean for Finance and Administration
Executive Director for Public Partnerships


Mr. Jarrah directs the Columbia Mailman's compliance, facilities, finance, information technology, and human resources functions. He also provides leadership for developing and deepening mutually beneficial partnerships between the School and the public sector at all levels. Previously, Mr. Jarrah served as the Chief Financial Officer at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, as Chief Operating Officer at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, and as Deputy Director at the Multnomah County Health Department. Mr. Jarrah earned his MPH from the University of Washington and his BA from Davidson College.

Michael Joseph, PhD
Vice Dean for Education
Associate Professor of Epidemiology


Dr. Joseph is a highly regarded teacher and curricular innovator, whose educational contributions and approach have been recognized locally, nationally and internationally. Dr. Joseph provides academic guidance for the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health's education portfolio, which enrolls more than 1400 students from around the world in doctoral and master’s degree programs. As Vice Dean, he leads the Columbia MPH and directs a range of support services, including admissions and financial aid, student affairs, and career services.

Gary W. Miller, PhD
Vice Dean for Research Strategy and Innovation
Professor of Environmental Health Sciences


Dr. Miller moved to Columbia University in 2018 after 16 years at Emory University. Dr. Miller is the founding director of the HERCULES Exposome Research Center at Emory University, the first exposome-based research center in the U.S. He authored the first book on the topic, The Exposome: A Primer. His research focuses on environmental drivers of neurodegeneration. In his vice dean role, Dr. Miller partners with faculty to further their research success and serves as a catalyst to propel interdisciplinary work throughout the School.

Administrative Leadership

Anne Marie Benedicto

Anne Marie Benedicto, MPA, MPH 
Chief of Staff 

Anne Marie Benedicto leads operations for the Dean’s office and directs advancement of the Columbia Mailman's strategic priorities. Previously, Anne Marie served as the Vice President of the Center for Transforming Healthcare and was the Chief of Staff and Executive Vice President for The Joint Commission. She has held finance and quality-related positions in healthcare organizations in New York City. Her expertise is in applying high reliability principles to organizational processes. Anne Marie earned her BA from the University of California at Berkeley, her MPA from Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs, and her MPH from the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health. 

Vanita Gowda

Vanita Gowda, MPA
Associate Dean and Chief Communications Officer

Ms. Gowda is a strategic communications and advocacy professional with more than 20 years’ experience in the public and private sectors, focusing on initiatives to improve the health and well-being of vulnerable and underserved populations around the world. She started her career as a reporter in Washington DC, covering Capitol Hill and national affairs. Vanita earned her MPA from Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs and earned her BA from the College of William & Mary.

Yvonne Ortiz

Yvonne Ortiz, MEd
Associate Dean, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Yvonne Ortiz has a breadth of experience in higher education, serving in student affairs, program review, and teaching roles at diverse higher education institutions. For 30 years, Yvonne has led and coached institutions on building diversity, equity and belonging and how to improve success for undergraduate, graduate, and professional students, led dynamic teams, guided strategic planning, facilitated professional learning for equity-minded practice; and created a culture of evidence for reaffirmation of accreditation. 

Laura Sobel

Laura Sobel, MBA
Associate Dean for Development and Alumni Relations

Ms. Sobel serves as Associate Dean for Development and Alumni Relations and oversees the management of the Columbia Mailman Board of Advisors. Ms. Sobel has held several executive leadership roles within educational, international development, community foundations, and healthcare non-profit organizations. Prior to arriving at Columbia, Ms. Sobel was Vice President for Principal and Major Gifts at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a Harvard teaching hospital, for seventeen years growing fundraising from $8M to $85M annually. Ms. Sobel has also held leadership positions at the Boston Foundation, Greater Boston’s community foundation, Facing History and Ourselves, an international teacher training organization, and CARE, an international relief organization. Ms. Sobel spent her childhood in NYC. Ms. Sobel graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a degree in Economics and received her MBA from Northeastern University.

Center Directors

Dean Linda P. Fried, MD, MPH

Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center

Linda P. Fried, MD, MPH
Director and Dean, Columbia Mailman School of Public Health and DeLamar Professor of Public Health; Professor of Epidemiology and of Medicine; Senior Vice President, Columbia University Irving Medical Center
Contact: ColumbiaAgingCenter@cumc.columbia.edu


Center for Infection and Immunity

W. Ian Lipkin, MD
Director and John Snow Professor of Epidemiology and Professor of Neurology and Pathology and Cell Biology
Administrative Contact: Kelly Magnus (kh2907@cumc.columbia.edu)



Wafaa El-Sadr, MD, MPH, MPA
Director and Executive Vice President for Columbia Global; University Professor; Dr. Mathilde Krim-amfAR Professor of Global Health (in Epidemiology); Director, Columbia World Projects
Administrative Contact: Mkeba Cason (mtc2101@cumc.columbia.edu)

Department Chairs

Kiros Berhane, Chair of the Department of Biostatistics


Kiros Berhane, PhD
Chair and Cynthia and Robert Citron-Roslyn and Leslie Goldstein Professor
Administrative Contact: Sonia Lyn (svl1@cumc.columbia.edu)

Ana Navas Acien headshot in Central Park

Environmental Health Sciences

Ana Navas-Acien, MD, PhD, MPH
Chair and Leon Hess Professor
Administrative Contact: Anastassia R. Amato-La Hoz (aa4977@cumc.columbia.edu)

Charles Branas, Chair of the Department of Epidemiology


Charles Branas, PhD
Chair and Gelman Endowed Professor
Administrative Contact: Laura Goldenkranz (lag2172@cumc.columbia.edu)

Michael Sparer, Chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management

Health Policy and Management

Michael Sparer, JD, PhD
Chair and Professor
Administrative Contact: Emily Kimberl (ek3268@cumc.columbia.edu)


Population and Family Health

S. Patrick Kachur, MD, MPH
Interim Chair and Professor
Administrative Contact: Sara Sternglass: (ss3808@cumc.columbia.edu)

Kathy Sikkema, Chair of the Department of Sociomedical Sciences

Sociomedical Sciences

Kathleen Sikkema, PhD
Chair and Stephen Smith Professor
Administrative Contact: Yasmin Davis (yj12@cumc.columbia.edu)