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Nir Menachemi named dean of Fairbanks School of Public Health

By Office of the Chancellor

June 11, 2024

Following a national search, Nir Menachemi has been named dean of the Fairbanks School of Public Health at Indiana University Indianapolis, effective June 15. Menachemi is currently serving as interim dean, executive associate dean and chief operating officer, and he will continue to serve on the school’s faculty upon assuming his responsibilities as dean.

Headshot of Nir Menachemi Nir Menachemi. Photo by Regenstrief Institute Menachemi joined the Fairbanks School faculty in 2015 as a professor and chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management. He began serving as a scientist at the Regenstrief Institute in 2017 and has held the Fairbanks Endowed Chair for Leadership in Public and Population Health since 2019. In 2022, he took on the role of executive associate dean and chief operating officer and has been serving as interim dean since January 2024, when founding dean Paul Halverson stepped down after leading the school since 2013.

The Fairbanks School was established by a $20 million endowment from the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation on Sept. 27, 2012. Since its founding, the school has been committed to advancing the health of Indiana by creating strategies to prevent illness, disability and injury, and improving how health care services are delivered.

In partnership with Eli Lilly and Co. and Eskenazi Health, the school has led the Diabetes Impact Project since 2018, receiving a total of $12 million in external funding to reduce diabetes rates and related complications in neighborhoods with significant health disparities. The Fairbanks School has also been on the forefront of reimagining the future of public health with efforts to bolster the public health workforce and increase public health funding in Indiana.

“As we near the launch of IU Indianapolis, Nir brings the combination of leadership, organizational expertise and research excellence that will add strength and momentum to the Fairbanks School of Public Health as it continues its upward trajectory in terms of student success, scholarly excellence and service to the state,” IU Indianapolis Chancellor and Executive Vice President Latha Ramchand said.

“Recognized for his innovation as well as for outstanding teaching, research and service excellence, Nir brings an entrepreneurial spirit and expertise at a pivotal time for our university as we attain our R1 status and enter a new era of productivity, partnership and scholarly excellence.”

During the pandemic, Menachemi led the Indiana Prevalence Study, a multiphase scientific study conducted in conjunction with the Indiana Department of Health, that measured the spread of COVID-19 through the state. The results provided real-time data that was used by policymakers to protect the health of Indiana residents. The study also identified the proportion of people infected who exhibit no symptoms, which ultimately influenced national policy. This was the first and most comprehensive random sample study of its kind in the world.

Before he joined the Fairbanks School, Menachemi was a professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and an associate professor at Florida State University.

“I am excited to take on this leadership challenge at such an important time in the life of our university as we deepen our service to the city and state, sharpen our focus on student success, and build on our research excellence,” Menachemi said. “I am also very thankful for the faith that campus and university leadership is putting in me and look forward to working with faculty, staff and students, as well as other significant stakeholders, as we advance the goals of the IU Indianapolis 2030 strategic plan.”

Menachemi has been recognized for excellence in teaching, service and research. These honors include Alumnus of the Year at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Health Services Administration, the Service Excellence Award from Indiana’s chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives, the IBJ Health Care Heroes Award for the work he and his team did during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the prestigious HSR Impact Award from AcademyHealth.

Menachemi received his doctorate from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and his Master of Public Health and Bachelor of Science degrees from the State University of New York at Albany.