Professor Don Operario Departing Brown

February 3, 2022

Dear SPH Community,

We write to let you know that Don Operario, Ph.D., professor of behavioral and social sciences, will be leaving Brown at the end of this semester to become Chair of the Department of Behavioral, Social, and Health Education Sciences at Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health. It goes without saying that Don has been a pillar of scholarship and citizenship at Brown University since his arrival in 2008 and that he will be deeply missed.

Don received a Master’s degree at Oxford University, a Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, and completed a fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco in health psychology and behavioral medicine. Prior to arriving at Brown, Don held leadership roles at Oxford as deputy head and director of research in the Department of Social Policy and Social Work.  

His scholarship on HIV, sexual and gender minority health, and global health while at the School of Public Health (SPH) has been outstanding. His citizenship and service to Brown have also been exceptional. Along with the countless University, School, and departmental committees that he has served (admissions committees, diversity committees, search committees, planning committees, tenure and promotions committees, strategic planning committees—and more) Don has held several critical leadership roles. Most notably, from 2013 – 2015 he served as Associate Dean for Master’s Education at the Brown Graduate School, and more recently, as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at SPH from 2015-2019. Yet, with all these accomplishments, it seems that Don’s teaching and mentorship of students made the most impact. 

Clearly saying “No” was never an option for Don, because he always said “Yes” with enthusiasm and dedication. 

It is difficult to adequately acknowledge Don’s contributions to Brown University and the School of Public Health. We are personally grateful to him for being a great colleague to us and so many other students, faculty, staff, and postdocs. We are also tremendously excited for him in this next stage of his career. He will be deeply missed, but we look forward to the impact that he will have in his new role and are honored that he will carry a bit of Brown’s SPH with him down to Emory.

Please join us in thanking Don for his extraordinary contributions to public health and to our community, and in congratulating him on this wonderful new opportunity.

Warm regards,

Ashish K. Jha, MD, MPH

Megan L. Ranney, MD, MPH
Academic Dean