Rashid Ahmed, PhD, has been named the inaugural Dean of the new College for Community Health at Montclair State University, effective July 15, 2023.
He will serve as the lead academic and administrative officer for the new College, which will initially comprise the departments of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Counseling, Exercise Science and Physical Education, Family Science and Human Development, Nutrition and Food Studies and Public Health.
The University has created the new College to bring these highly accomplished departments together in order to make a greater collective impact. The College will leverage its current strengths, build new strategic relationships and expand its academic offerings to meet critical health workforce needs.
Addressing the urgent challenges posed by ongoing health inequities in New Jersey and the region is expected to be a significant focus for the College.
“New opportunities exist for Montclair to be at the forefront of enhancing health equity, and I am confident Dr. Ahmed is an ideal person to lead the new College,” says Junius Gonzales, the University’s Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. “His deep and broad experiences in academic and student affairs, research and scholarship, and community engaged work, including with historically marginalized populations, at leading universities in the U.S. and Canada, as well as his personal volunteerism and community service will enable him to lead the college in exciting directions.”
Ahmed brings more than 20 years of experience as an educational leader to Montclair, including more than 10 years of clinical trial experience and 15 years leading comprehensive health-related research studies.
He currently serves as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois Chicago, where he established the strategic direction for his area, ensured federal, state and University compliance, and also oversaw student affairs and admission and recruitment. Previously, he served as the Associate Dean for Research in the College of Nursing and Professional Disciplines at the University of North Dakota, where he helped secure more than $12.7 million in external research funding. He has also had roles at the University of Waterloo and the University of Manitoba.
Ahmed’s research interests include statistical analysis of population-based public health research and the impact of social capital and community organization on public health.
He brings deep knowledge of education and health policy to the new College for Community Health, including an in-depth understanding of the public health systems, health-care delivery and health financing systems currently shaping the industry.
“It is a tremendous honor to be entrusted with such a pivotal role, and I am committed to ensuring the College’s success by making a lasting impact on the lives of our students and improving the health of the surrounding community,” says Ahmed. “I am particularly excited to cultivate a strong sense of community within the College and build strong relationships among students, faculty, and staff that will foster a supportive and inclusive environment where everyone feels valued and motivated to excel.
“Our mission within the College for Community Health is to provide education, inspiration, and empowerment to the next generation of health-care professionals while upholding a steadfast commitment to social justice. This commitment includes promoting equal access to education and fostering strong connections between the College and the surrounding community through strategic partnerships and collaborations.”
Ahmed holds a PhD in Biostatistics from the University of Waterloo, Canada; master’s degrees in Statistics and Educational Policy Studies from the University of Western Ontario; and a master’s degree in Applied Economics from the University of Karachi in Pakistan.