Geisel School of Medicine Dean Duane A. Compton, PhD, has appointed Erika T. Brown, PhD, as the medical school’s Dean of Faculty Affairs, effective December 13, 2021. Brown is a nationally recognized expert with nearly 10 years of experience in faculty affairs and professional development and 20 years in academic medicine.
“I'm delighted that Dr. Brown has agreed to join our community as the Dean of Faculty Affairs,” Compton says. “She brings both breadth and depth of experience in faculty affairs to Geisel and I'm excited to have her leadership as we expand our Office of Faculty Affairs to best meet the needs for the advancement and professional development of all our faculty.”
Brown comes to Dartmouth from the Morehouse School of Medicine, in Atlanta, GA, where she was senior associate dean for faculty affairs, professional and academic development, and a professor in the Department of Pathology and Anatomy. Prior to being recruited to Morehouse in 2013 to that inaugural position, Brown held both faculty and administrative positions at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC)—in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and in the MUSC Hollings Cancer Center. She was also a director in the Office of the Provost.
While at Morehouse, she built an effective and resourceful office to develop and sustain the faculty—encompassing recruitment, on-boarding, retention, promotion, career guidance, and professional development for all academic ranks, including courses and ongoing workshops with an emphasis on junior faculty. The six-week executive on-boarding program for newly hired, recently promoted, and appointed academic leaders facilitated their transition by familiarizing them with the institution’s organizational structure and introduced them to mentors.
While leading the medical school’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, Brown implemented a culture climate survey—used to enhance the mission and develop a strategic plan focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion-focused initiatives—and the first institution-wide workshop on unconscious bias.
In addition to faculty affairs and professional development, Brown has expertise in accreditation and assessment. At Morehouse, she served on the Liaison Committee for Medical Education (LCME) Reaffirmation Steering Committee, leading the institution-wide decennial reaffirmation of accreditation process with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Her leadership with that process resulted in the historical achievement of full compliance in every accreditation standard.
“I am absolutely thrilled to have been selected for this outstanding and honorable opportunity,” Brown says. “The welcoming and collaborative spirit of the faculty and staff, and the positive energy from the expansion and growth taking place on multiple levels of the medical school is what drew me to Geisel, along with the opportunity to be both a contributor to and participant in that expansion and growth.”
Since 2013, Brown has been an active member of the Association of American Medical Colleges Group on Faculty Affairs (AAMC GFA). And has served on both the Professional Development and Communications Committees of the AAMC GFA—in that role, she created and facilitated AAMC GFA Virtual Town Halls that serve as a forum where Faculty Affairs colleagues from academic medical centers nationwide, convene in real-time to discuss targeted challenges and opportunities that are common within the community of academic medicine faculty and staff. She served on the AAMC GFA National Steering Committee from 2018-2021. And as a member of the AAMC Minority Faculty External Advisory Committee she collaborates with the AAMC Group on Diversity and Inclusion and the AAMC Group on Women in Medicine and Science. Her achievements at Morehouse led to her office being selected by the AAMC GFA and Office of Constituent Engagement for an observatory and instructional site-visit in March 2018. She and her team hosted what was considered one of the best site-visits in 10 years and was noted as the “Mercedes of all site-visits.”
Since 1999, her research has focused on the roles of BRCA1 and BRCA2 proteins in breast cancer and repair of damaged DNA. She is also involved in minority health disparities research examining the frequency of breast cancer genetic variants in the Sea Islands (coasts of Georgia, North and South Carolinas) population that has the highest percentage of West African ancestry in the U.S. She has received grant funding from the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program and has been a grant reviewer for both agencies.
Her honors and awards include membership in the Sigma Xi Scientific Honor Society, recognition by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, American Association for Cancer Research, and the Morehouse School of Medicine Diversity Appreciation, as well as multiple honors in teaching and higher education. In 2020, she was included in Cell Mentor, The Community of Scholars: 1,000 Inspiring Black Scientists in America. And was a fellow in the 2014-15 Class of the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine® (ELAM®) Program for Women and now serves as a Learning Community Advisor for the ELAM® program.
At Geisel, Brown plans to combine her academic experiences into building a comprehensive and robust professional development platform to further the medical school’s collaborative community.