Bess Marcus, PhD

Dean, School of Public Health 
Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences

Bess Marcus is the administrative and academic leader of Brown's School of Public Health. She is the second dean of the Brown University School of Public Health effective Nov. 1, 2017. 

Dean Marcus first arrived at Brown as a postdoctoral scholar in 1988 after earning her master’s degree and Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Auburn University. She became an associate professor of psychiatry and human behavior in 1995 and then a full professor in 2000. In 2004, she became director of the Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine at the Miriam Hospital. In 2007, Marcus joined the faculty of Brown’s Department of Community Health and remained on the faculty when the department became the School of Public Health in 2013. In 2011 she became chair of the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California San Diego. UCSD appointed her the School of Medicine’s inaugural senior associate dean for public health in 2014. In that role, she created the Institute for Public Health, promoted public health research and education activities across campus and supervised the medical school’s public health degree offerings.

Throughout her career, Marcus has supervised, mentored and advised scores of students and taught hundreds more. She has published more than 250 papers on the role of exercise in health and how to motivate people to maintain healthy behaviors such as physical activity and smoking cessation. Marcus served on the executive committee for the Development of a National Strategic Plan for Physical Activity and on the board of directors for the National Physical Activity Plan Alliance.

Alison Field, ScD

Chair of the Department of Epidemiology

Dr. Field is Professor and Chair of Epidemiology at the Brown University School of Public Health. She was previously Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Professor of Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. At the Harvard School of Public Health she was the Co-Director of the Reproductive, Perinatal, and Pediatric Epidemiology area of interest. She has published more than 115 peer-reviewed manuscripts and numerous book chapters and has had funding from NIH since 1997. Her research focuses on determining the optimal classification for eating disorders and obesity and identifying the modifiable causes, correlates, consequences, and course of overweight and eating disorders among children, adolescents, and adult women. Much of her research uses data from the Growing Up Today Study (GUTS), a prospective cohort study she helped to established in 1996 to assess the predictors of dietary intake, activity, and weight gain. Dr. Field is a former Associate Editor of Obesity Research and has served on the editorial boards of Pediatric Research and theInternational Journal of Eating Disorders. She is actively involved in the Obesity Society, where she has served on the council and was Chair of the Program Planning Committee.

Joseph Hogan, ScD

Chair of the Department of Biostatistics

Joseph Hogan, ScD, is the Carole and Lawrence Sirovich Professor of Public Health, Professor of Biostatistics, and Chair of the Department of Biostatistics. Professor Hogan came to Brown in 1995 shortly after completing his doctoral work at Harvard with renowned methods statistician Nan Laird. During his tenure at Brown, he has held several academic leadership positions including, most recently, associate dean for faculty affairs at the School. Professor Hogan’s research concerns statistical methods for missing data, causal inference, and sensitivity analysis, especially in HIV/AIDS. Much of his recent work focuses on HIV in sub-Saharan Africa. His long-standing interest in HIV and AIDS is evidenced by his service to the Biostatistics Program for AMPATH, the Biostatistics Core for the Lifespan/Tufts/Brown Center for AIDS Research, and the Biostatistics Core for the Brown Alcohol Research Center for HIV.  Professor Hogan is a member of several professional societies and the author of over 100 peer-reviewed articles. 

Christopher W. Kahler, PhD

Chair of the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences

Dr. Kahler is Professor and Chair of the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences.He received his Ph.D. in 1998 from Rutgers University and joined the Brown Medical School faculty that year. He is currently the Director of Biostatistics at the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies. Dr. Kahler's work focuses on (a) the role of personality and emotion in heavy alcohol use and smoking, (b) the etiology and treatment of combined heavy drinking and smoking, and (c) the role of alcohol in the treatment of HIV infection. He is currently the Principal Investigator on an NIAAA-funded laboratory study on alcohol administration and smoking relapse risk, an NIAAA-funded randomized clinical trial of naltrexone for at-risk and problem drinkers seeking smoking cessation treatment, and an NCI-funded treatment development project to adapt Positive Psychotherapy for use in smoking cessation treatment with low positive affect smokers. He is also the Scientific Director of the NIAAA-funded Alcohol Research Center on HIV (ARCH) and is PI of a major research component evaluating a brief alcohol intervention in a primary care setting for HIV-infected men who have sex with men. His most recent publications focus on (a) alcohol use and smoking cessation, (b) hostility, depressive symptoms, sensation seeking and smoking cessation outcome, (c) the application of item response theory to measures of alcohol problems, and (d) personality, psychopathology and smoking. 

Caroline Kuo, DPhil


Assistant Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences
Assistant Dean for Diversity & Inclusion

Caroline Kuo is a global public health scientist and advocate dedicated to building the resilience of vulnerable populations, and to creating programs that enable these populations to thrive in contexts of high adversity. As Assistant Dean for Diversity & Inclusion, Professor Kuo provides leadership, management, and coordination of School initiatives and programs that promote diversity and inclusion, including efforts to increase representation of and support for historically underrepresented groups within the faculty, staff, and student body. 

Linda Laliberte, JD

Associate Dean for Administration and Finance

Ms. Laliberte is an attorney, health policy analyst and health services researcher with broad experience in Medicare policy and healthcare issues affecting the elderly. She has conducted research on hospice care, nursing home care, residential care facilities, breast cancer treatment for older women, and health insurance access in RI. She is currently the Associate Dean of Public Health for Finance and Administration and teaches Ethical and Legal Issues in Public Health.

Don Operario, PhD

Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

As Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Professor Operario oversees academic degree programs offered through the School of Public Health and represents Public Health with the Dean of the College, the Graduate School and the Registrar’s Office.  Professor Operario has most recently served as Director of Graduate Studies at Brown.

David Savitz, PhD

Professor of Epidemiology
Associate Dean for Research

As Associate Dean for Research, Professor Savitz provides leadership and vision in planning and implementing the School’s research agenda, including strengthening school-wide systems for the preparation and implementation of research initiatives and the attainment of research funding.  He also represents the School with the Office of the Vice President of Research and relevant University Committees. 

Patrick Vivier, MD, PhD

Associate Professor of Health Services Policy & Practice
Associate Professor of Pediatrics 

Director of the Master of Public Health Program
 Director of Interdisciplinary Educational Programs
Director of the Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute 

Dr. Vivier's work focuses on the health status and health services utilization of low-income families. Important health issues investigated in Dr. Vivier's work include lead poisoning and childhood obesity. Health system issues addressed by Dr. Vivier and colleagues include emergency department utilization and improving information systems to enhance the delivery of health care.

Dr. Vivier teaches the Public Health/Community Service Internship to MPH students as well as Topics in Clinical and Translational Research.

Ira Wilson, MD, MSc

Chair of the Department of Health Services, Policy & Practice

Dr. Wilson graduated from Harvard College with a BA in Social Studies. He worked as Director of the Adolescent Center of Rincon, Puerto Rico for several years before returning to Boston to attending medical school. He graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1987, and completed a residency in Internal Medicine (Primary Care Pathway) at Beth Israel in Boston, MA. Dr. Wilson was Chief Medical Resident at Beth Israel and a fellow in the Harvard General Medicine Program. In 1993 he joined the faculty at Tufts Medical Center where he rose to the rank of Professor in 2006. In 2010 he moved to Brown to become Chair of the Department of Health Services, Policy & Practice.

Nancy Barnett, PhD

Professor of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs  

Professor Barnett’s responsibilities as Assocaite Dean for Faculty Affairs include oversight of processes pertinent to faculty searches and hiring, reappointments, promotions, annual reviews, and sabbaticals in the School.  She represents the School with the Dean of Faculty  and is well versed on the important details necessary to assist faculty with the Tenure, Promotions, and Appointments process.

Karen Scanlan

Director of Communications 

As the Director of Communications for Public Health at Brown she is responsible for developing and implementing communication initiatives to strengthen and advance the School as well as coordinating internal and external relationships.

Ms. Scanlan is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She spent the early part of her career with Hyatt and Westin Hotels in Texas and Hawaii as a Catering and Convention Services manager. Upon relocating to Massachusetts she joined the Robert Allen Group, a national leader in textiles and high-end furnishings to the design trade; working in marketing, communications and meeting planning. Ms. Scanlan joined Brown in 2007 in the Office of the Dean of Medicine and Biological Sciences under Dean Eli Adashi, and then with the appointment of Dean Edward Wing overseeing communications and administration throughout his tenure. She moved to the School of Public Health in the fall of 2013. She has over thirty years of management experience overseeing large-scale projects in training, events and communication initiatives.