Dr. Julio Frenk To Be Named University of Miami's First Hispanic President

Dr. Julio Frenk
Dr. Julio Frenk
Courtesy of Harvard

After being lead by the former Secretary of Health and Human Services for 14 years, the University of Miami will now turn to a former Mexican Secretary of Health for its new president. According to the Miami Herald, the university is expected to announce that Dr. Julio Frenk as the replacement for outgoing President Donna Shalala

Frenk will be Miami's sixth president overall, and its first Hispanic president. Frenk would also instantly become one of the most high-profile Hispanic university presidents in the country. No other school ranked in U.S. News and World Report's Top 50 research universities is currently lead by a Hispanic. 

Like Shalala, Frenk, who is 61 years old, not only has a background in public health, but also in school administration. He has served as the Dean of the Faculty at the Harvard School of Public Health since 2009. His time as Mexico's Secretary of Health lasted from 2000 to 2006, after which he was lauded as a possible Director-General of the World Health Organization, a group he has previously served as Executive Director of Evidence and Information for Policy in the late '90s.

While ultimately not getting that job, he served as the director of Carso Health Institute, nonprofit concerned with the health of Latin America's poor before being appointed Harvard Dean. 

Unlike Shalala, who served in President Bill Clinton's cabinet throughout his entire presidency, Frenk is not well known outside the world of health policy and academics. However, he has proven himself as a capable fundraiser. The Herald points out that he has quadrupled fundraising for Harvard's School of Public Health and helped orchestrate a $350 million gift (Harvard's largest single donation ever) from Hong Kong developer T.H. Chan. 

Shalala announced late last year that she would be stepping down after 14 years at the helm of the University of Miami. She has been tapped to lead the Clinton Foundation, a nonprofit group she'll shepherd during the presidential run of her close friend Hillary Clinton. 


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