Dean Fried is a world-renowned geriatrician and epidemiologist. Dean since 2008, she led the transformation of Columbia Public Health’s MPH and doctoral programs to 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.
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.
Dr. Santella is a co-leader of the Cancer Population Science Program and Director of the Biomarkers Shared Resource of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center and Director of the Integrative Health Sciences Facility Core of Columbia’s NIEHS Center for Environmental Health in Northern Manhattan. She holds a PhD from the City University of New York in biochemistry and an MS from the University of Massachusetts in organic chemistry. Her research focuses on the use of biomarkers in cancer epidemiologic and clinical studies.
Sepi Sepasi, MBA
Vice Dean for Finance and Administration
Ms. Sepasi has over twenty years of experience in finance, planning and administration. As Interim Vice Chancellor for Finance and Human resources at Rutgers University, she helped build the financial infrastructure to support and manage the flagship campus. Prior to this role, she was the Associate Vice President for Strategic Financial Initiatives. Previously, she spent 11 years at University of Chicago and Northwestern University. Ms. Sepasi has her MBA from the Eli Broad Graduate School of Management and BA from Michigan State University.
Dr. DiAquoi is responsible for developing a rich agenda of activities and programs that promote the recognition and understanding of historical and current social inequalities, and facilitating action steps in our institution, community, and in the broader field of public health to eliminate them. Prior to joining the School , she provided training and support to communities and educational institutions to improve the academic experiences of marginalized populations.
Sebastian Fries, PhD
Executive Director, Corporate Partnerships
Dr. Fries directs partnerships between the School and the private and public sector that align on population health and analytics strategies. Prior, Sebastian was the Chief Giving Officer at TOMS. Prior to TOMS, Sebastian was the Senior Director, Emerging Markets for Global Access at Pfizer and a manager with Vertex Partners, a management consulting firm. He holds a PhD in International Affairs from the Free University of Berlin and an MA in International Relations from the University of Cologne.
Vanita Gowda, MPA
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.
Bethany Jankunis, MSW, JD
Chief of Staff
Ms. Jankunis serves as a top strategy and implementation partner to the Dean, coordinating the efforts of various levels of School leadership and overseeing all aspects of functioning of the Dean’s office. Prior, Ms. Jankunis was Chief of Staff for the Provost at New York University’s School of Engineering, then Assistant Vice President for Administrative Planning and Initiatives, reporting to the School’s President. Previously, Ms. Jankunis worked as a Policy Advisor to the New York City Comptroller, then as Chief of Staff for New York State Assembly member and Higher Education Chair Deborah Glick. She holds an MSW from the Hunter College School of Social Work and a JD from Fordham Law School.
Associate Dean, Development & Alumni Relations
Barbara Verrier joins Columbia Mailman from The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health where she served as Director of Principal Gifts and as a senior member of Bloomberg’s development, alumni relations, volunteer engagement and stewardship team. Prior to working at Bloomberg, Ms. Verrier was Senior Associate Director for The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. She also brings experience in local community engagement, having served as Director of the Ware Center for Civic Engagement at Franklin & Marshall College, where she provided leadership in engaging students to address community needs through volunteerism, service-learning, and sustained civic engagement. Ms. Verrier has a Master’s degree in Educational Administration from the University of Vermont, and a Bachelor of Arts from The University of California at Los Angeles.