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May 15, 2005

Dear Faculty, Students and Staff:

I am pleased to report a most successful conclusion to the search for a new dean of the Bloomberg School of Public Health.

From a nationwide pool of more than 100 candidates, many of them exceptionally well-qualified, a clear first choice emerged right here at Johns Hopkins: Michael J. Klag, MD, MPH.

Dr. Klag, an alumnus of the Bloomberg School and an internationally known expert on the epidemiology and prevention of cardiovascular and kidney disease, has served with distinction since 1987 as a faculty member at both the School of Medicine and the School of Public Health. He is currently the David M. Levine Professor of Medicine and holds joint appointments in the departments of Epidemiology and Health Policy and Management.

Dr. Klag will become the Bloomberg School's 10th dean on Sept. 1, succeeding Dr. Alfred Sommer, who will be focusing on his research and other work in global health after an extraordinary 15 years as dean.

Mike Klag's command of national and global issues of public health, his passionate commitment to public health education and his collaborative spirit make him ideally suited to build on the extraordinary work of Al Sommer, D.A. Henderson and a line of distinguished deans dating back to the school's founder, Dr. William Welch. Mike will articulate his vision for global leadership in public health and ensure that the school's faculty and students have the resources needed to execute that vision.

Early in his career at Johns Hopkins, Mike was director of the clinical track of the preventive medicine residency in the School of Public Health. He has served since in numerous leadership roles, including the interim chairmanship of the university's largest department, the Department of Medicine. He now serves as vice dean for clinical investigation in the School of Medicine. In that role, he has overseen a complete restructuring of Johns Hopkins Medicine's policies and procedures for the protection of human research volunteers, building an organization and process that recently that won praise from an accreditation site visit team as a national model.

I am sure that you join the trustees and me in congratulating Dean-elect Klag. We very much look forward to working with him.

I also want to commend Provost Steven Knapp and all those who worked with him on the committee that conducted this important search. Their investment of time, energy and careful deliberation has resulted in a selection that I believe will pay important dividends to the school and the university.

Finally, I want to take another opportunity to express my gratitude to Dean Sommer for exceptionally dedicated and creative service to the Bloomberg School and to Johns Hopkins. He and his leadership team, working closely with the entire faculty and staff of the school, have elevated an already remarkable institution to undisputed worldwide pre-eminence. Al deserves all our thanks.

For more information on the appointment of Mike Klag, I invite you to see a story in the coming week's Gazette, also available online at

Best regards,

William R. Brody
Johns Hopkins University