Claire E. Sterk

President, Emory University

Claire E. Sterk, PhD, is the 20th president of Emory University. With service on the faculty and in administration for 21 years, she is the Charles Howard Candler Professor of Public Health. Her prior roles at the Rollins School of Public Health include chair of the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, associate dean for research, and acting director and associate director of the Women’s and Children’s Center. She also holds joint faculty appointments at Emory in anthropology; sociology; and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies. Sterk’s primary research interests are addiction, mental health, and HIV/AIDS, with a focus on community-based interventions and social inequalities. She is a leading international scholar in the fields of public health and anthropology and is the author of three books, including two in English—Tricking and Tripping: Prostitution in the Era of AIDS and Fast Lives: Women Who Use Crack Cocaine, in addition to more than 100 peer-reviewed articles to her credit. A prolific NIH-funded researcher, she currently is principal investigator of Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health, funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. In addition to service on several national editorial boards, she has held many professional leadership positions, including president of the Alcohol, Drug, and Tobacco section of the American Sociological Association, board member of the Society for Applied Anthropology, and member of the NIH’s National Advisory Council of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. A popular lecturer both on and off campus, Sterk’s teaching extends from the undergraduate to graduate level. Complementing her teaching, Sterk believes in community service, as evidenced by her current participation as a trustee of the Woodruff Center for the Arts, the Atlanta International School, Hambidge Center for the Arts and Sciences, and The Rotary Club of Atlanta. A native of the Netherlands, Sterk holds a PhD in sociology from Erasmus University in Rotterdam and a doctorandus degree in medical anthropology from the University of Utrecht. She speaks four languages.

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