Founding Dean, School of Medicine

Kigali and Butaro, Rwanda

The University of Global Health Equity (UGHE) invites applications and nominations for Founding Dean of the School of Medicine based in Rwanda. UGHE partners with the Rwandan government and draws faculty from international institutions including Harvard Medical School, Yale University, and Tufts University. Launched in 2015, UGHE is an initiative of the international non-profit Partners In Health, which has developed a model of delivering high-quality health care to some of the world’s most marginalized communities over the past three decades. The new, English-language health sciences university is focused on expanding the equitable delivery of health care in resource-constrained parts of the world. Through clinical and non-clinical degree programs as well as executive education offerings, UGHE will train a new generation of global changemakers in health care delivery rooted in the values of equity. The university’s cornerstone program is the non-clinical Master of Science in Global Health Delivery (MGHD), the study of how to create excellent national health care with a focus on developing countries; course topics range from epidemiology to leadership and management. Students in the initial class graduated in May 2017, while more than 300 professionals from 20 countries applied for the two dozen places in the MGHD Class of 2019. UGHE’s first campus is already under construction in Butaro, Burera District, Rwanda, where students will be accommodated on 250 acres of land. 

The School of Medicine, to be launched in 2019, is the first of several planned UGHE interprofessional health care training programs to include nursing, midwifery, and dentistry, among others. The aim is to provide integrated health sciences education, affect social equity, and prepare diverse clinician-leaders to bring innovative health care delivery to Rwanda, sub-Saharan Africa, and other resourced-constrained regions of the world. Consistent with the university’s vision of training future leaders with expertise in health care delivery, all professional programs, including the medical degree, will be designed as joint degrees incorporating the MGHD program.

The Founding Dean will report to UGHE’s Vice Chancellor, Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, former Rwandan Minister of Health and current faculty member at Harvard Medical School, Geisel School of Medicine-Dartmouth, and UGHE. Serving as the chief academic and administrative officer of the School of Medicine, the Dean will have the rare opportunity to reimagine health sciences education and build a new institution that promotes world-class quality and standards for research, educational, and clinical programs. Responsibilities include creating and implementing new academic programs and curricula, innovating around the use of new learning technologies, leading the local and international accreditation processes, and recruiting and developing the school’s leadership, students, faculty, and administrative staff. Supported by a Board of Trustees of global leaders in medical and health professional education, the Dean will have substantial flexibility to innovate and create a unique institution. To promote the growth and sustainability of this new university, the Dean will participate in a capital campaign inspired by UGHE’s mission and aspirational goals.

Qualifications: Candidates of all nationalities are welcome. The Dean will have an MD or equivalent; Board Certification in her/his academic specialty; at least five years of clinical service; successful academic advancement and leadership experience at a world-class medical school, academic health center or health care institution; and experience with establishing new educational programs. S/he will be responsible for building partnerships with local communities and other academic private and public-sector organizations in Rwanda and abroad. This position will require an entrepreneurial spirit, cultural sensitivity, and commitment to the university’s innovative mission. Experience working internationally and with interprofessional collaborations is a plus. The successful candidate will enjoy a multi-year contract, no mandatory retirement age, and a competitive compensation/benefit package. Candidates who are citizens of a country that taxes world-wide income, such as the US, may be eligible for favorable home-country tax treatment. Candidates who lack senior leadership experience in an academic medical or global health setting will not be considered.

Rwanda has overcome a tragic history and remarkable challenges in becoming one of the safest and most stable countries in Africa. English, French, Swahili and Kinyarwanda are the official languages. With the entire country at a high altitude, Rwanda enjoys a temperate tropical highland climate. The country has championed an equity agenda by fostering a results-oriented approach to governance and investing heavily in health, education, and access to technology. One of only two countries in the world with a female majority in the national parliament, Rwanda has achieved the world’s most dramatic gains in economic growth and population health in the past 50 years. In the last decade, Rwanda’s GDP has more than tripled, and over one million people have pulled themselves out of poverty. Rwanda has doubled the life expectancy of its population since the 1990s and reduced child mortality at the world’s fastest rate between 2000 and 2011. These gains have been achieved by closing the gaps in health care delivery and leveraging disease-specific funding to strengthen health systems through integrative programs. Today, a robust primary health care delivery system reaches from communities to referral hospitals with near-universal access to clinical care and health insurance. Countries across Africa are seeking to emulate these approaches. Having demonstrated that a commitment to health care equity can drive rapid and sustainable development, Rwanda is an ideal location to create a global hub for innovation in health care delivery and health sciences education.

Applications and nominations: Korn Ferry, which is assisting UGHE, invites applications, nominations and inquiries to be submitted electronically, care of Inga Walter ( Applications should include a current CV and letter explaining interest and relevant experience. All communications will be held in strict confidence. Additional information is available upon request.