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Emory Rollins School of Public Health
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Claire E.  Sterk

President Emerita and Charles Howard Candler Professor


Faculty, Behavioral/Social/Health Educ

Claire is President Emerita and a Charles Howard Candler Professor of Public Health in the Department of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences at the Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University.  She is an internationally renowned public health scholar, recognized for spurring paradigm shifts in public health, with a focus on women’s health, mental health, and substance abuse.  Having received significant external research funding and as the author of more than 130 articles and three books, she translates science into practices and policies that advance the health of individuals and society.  She is a sought-after speaker on topics such as women's and community health, substance abuse and mental health, implementation sciences, innovation, and equity and inclusion, Among her professional recognitions are the election to the National Academy of Medicine,  the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and  the American Association for the Advancement of Science (Fellow). She also is a member of the Council on Foreign Affairs. 

In addition to her board service to two start-up companies in biotech and digital health, she is a member of the Atlanta Community Foodbank’s finance committee and the Atlanta Police Foundation board. She has served on the Board of Directors of Metro Atlanta Chamber and the Board of Trustees of the Woodruff Arts Center, The Carter Center, and the Hambidge Center for the Arts and Sciences.

At Emory, Claire served as 20th President (2016-2020) and 6th Provost (2012-2016). As President she launched One Emory: Engaged for Impact -- a call for reimaging the roles and responsibilities of research universities, and during her tenure as Provost she led Emory’s strategic planning process, Thinking and Acting Strategically. Additionally, she served as Senior Vice Provost (2005-2012). Claire has been on the faculty of the Rollins School of Public Health since 1995, where she also served as inaugural Associate Dean for Research (2004-2005) and Chair of the Department of Behavioral Science and Health (2000-2005). She has served on 37 dissertation committees and chaired more than 50 master’s theses, while serving as a committee member on an additional 25+ thesis committees.  As Charles Howard Candler Professor in Public Health, she is actively engaged with the doctoral program in the Department of Behavioral, Social and Health Education Sciences at the Rollins School of Public Health.

Her education includes a PhD from Erasmus University (Rotterdam, the Netherlands), a graduate degree from the University of Utrecht (Utrecht, the Netherlands) and an undergraduate degree from the Free University (Amsterdam, the Netherlands).

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Contact Information

1518 Clifton Road

Atlanta , GA 30322

Phone: 404.727.6788


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Areas of Interest

  • Advocacy
  • Behavior and Health
  • Health Disparities
  • Implementation Science
  • Public Health Leadership
  • Social Epidemiology


  • PhD 1990, Erasmus University, Rotterdam (the Netherlands)
  • Doctorandus 1983, University of Utrecht, Utrecht (the Netherlands)
  • Kandidaats 1979, Vrije Universiteit (Free University), Amsterdam (the Netherlands)


  • No Publications listed