Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Monday, June 27, 2011

Marie Lynn Miranda named new SNRE dean

One of the nation’s leading researchers in children’s environmental health, Marie Lynn Miranda, will be the new dean of the School of Natural Resources and Environment (SNRE), effective Jan. 1, 2012, pending approval from the Board of Regents.

  Marie Lynn Miranda

Miranda is a faculty member in the Nicholas School of the Environment, the Integrated Toxicology and Environmental Health Program and the Global Health Institute at Duke University. She also is a faculty member in the Department of Pediatrics within Duke Medicine.

The Detroit native has devoted much of her professional career to research directed at improving the health status of disadvantaged populations, particularly children. She is the founding director of the Children’s Environmental Health Initiative, a research, education and outreach program that fosters environments where all children can prosper. She has held the director post since 1999.

CEHI’s peer-reviewed work is cited widely, including in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s current integrated science assessment on revisions to the national ambient air quality standard for lead. CEHI also works closely with a wide range of organizations and non-profits in addressing children’s environmental health issues in the community. In 2008, CEHI won the EPA’s Environmental Justice Achievement Award.

“As the only American-born member of an immigrant family, I consider public education to be one of the greatest commitments that our country makes to young people. As a native Detroiter, I grew up admiring the University of Michigan, both for what it accomplishes, but also for its emblematic status as the very finest public research university,” says Miranda. “At this critical time for our global environment, I am proud to join the outstanding faculty, staff, and students of the School of Natural Resources and Environment in its mission to protect the Earth’s resources and achieve a just and sustainable society.”

Among her many academic leadership positions, Miranda has chaired the Nicholas School’s faculty council and is completing two years of service as vice-chair of the universitywide Executive Committee of the Academic Council. She also is a member of the Business and Finance Committee of the Duke Board of Trustees, the University Priorities Committee, and the Duke Translational Medicine Institute’s Leadership Group.

Miranda is a dedicated teacher and researcher. In recognition of her commitment to teaching, she was awarded a Lilly Foundation Pedagogy Fellowship and the Richard K. Lublin Distinguished Award for Teaching Excellence, Duke’s highest honor for teaching. Her courses focus on environmental sciences and policy.

Her research, which is funded at the level of several million dollars a year, has been supported by both federal and foundation sponsors ranging from the Environmental Protection Agency to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, the World Health Organization, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Miranda has published more than 60 articles in peer-reviewed journals. Nationally, Miranda serves on the federal Children’s Health Protection Advisory Committee and is the principal investigator on one of the 12 federally funded children’s environmental health centers.

President Mary Sue Coleman says Miranda is an exceptional choice to lead SNRE.

“Dr. Miranda’s scientific expertise and leadership skills made her a clear choice for guiding the School of Natural Resources and Environment. She will play a critical role in advancing the university’s commitment to developing approaches and solutions for a more sustainable world,” Coleman says.

Miranda earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Duke University in 1985 and her Master of Arts and doctorate in economics from Harvard University in 1988 and 1990, respectively. She joined the Duke faculty as an assistant professor of public policy in the Sanford Institute of Public Policy in 1990.

In 1995, she transferred her faculty appointment to the Nicholas School of the Environment, where she was assistant professor of the practice of environmental policy and director of undergraduate programs.

In 1999, she was promoted to associate professor of the practice of environmental policy and became a faculty member in the integrated toxicology program and founding director of the Children’s Environmental Health Initiative. From 2000-05, Miranda held the Dan and Margaret Gabel Chair in Environmental Ethics and Sustainable Environmental Management, one of Duke’s fixed-term endowed chairs. In December 2007, she became associate professor (with tenure) of environmental sciences and policy and pediatrics. Effective July 1, she will be promoted to professor in the Nicholas School and the Department of Pediatrics.

“I’m delighted that Dr. Miranda will be joining the university as dean of the School of Natural Resources and Environment,” says Provost Phil Hanlon. “She’s an outstanding teacher and accomplished researcher. In her engagement with complex questions of environmental health she has shown a keen ability to bring integrated, interdisciplinary perspectives to bear on pressing policy concerns. A successful leader of the Children’s Environmental Health Initiative at Duke University, she is both an effective public spokesperson and an able administrator. We look forward to welcoming her to our campus.”