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Cathy Bradley Named Colorado School of Public Health Dean

As the first woman appointed to hold the role, Bradley will succeed Jonathan Samet beginning Aug. 1

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What You Need To Know

Cathy Bradley has been named dean of the Colorado School of Public Health, an educational consortium that includes Colorado State University and the University of Northern Colorado. She will be the first woman appointed to hold the role.

On Aug. 1, Cathy Bradley, PhD, will take the reins of the Colorado School of Public Health, becoming the fourth dean in school history and the first woman appointed to the position, following interim deans Judith Albino and Elaine Morrato. Bradley will succeed Jonathan Samet, MD, MS, who has held the post since October 2017.

“We look forward to all that Professor Bradley will bring to her role as dean at a pivotal time in ColoradoSPH’s growth and development,” said Chancellor Don Elliman. “She is well-equipped to help further elevate our school as a national leader, to shine a light on our exceptional faculty and outstanding students, and to build our programs in key areas.” 

The sentiment was echoed by Roderick Nairn, PhD, executive vice chancellor for academic and student affairs. We are fortunate to have a leader of Professor Bradley’s caliber and experience at the helm as ColoradoSPH celebrates its 15th year as the first accredited and only collaborative school of public health in the Rocky Mountain West.” 

Read the full campus announcement on Dean Bradley's appointment from Chancellor Elliman and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs Roderick Nairn.

A background of interdisciplinary collaboration, spurring growth 

A first generation college graduate, Bradley began her career at Michigan State University. Following eight years at Michigan State, she was the founding chair of the Department of Healthcare Policy and Research and associate director of cancer prevention and control at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine before joining the CU Anschutz Medical Campus in 2015. Currently, Bradley serves as the associate dean for research in the Colorado School of Public Health and deputy director of the CU Cancer Center. 

“Cathy is a remarkable leader, well known, and highly regarded at the school and on the CU Anschutz Medical Campus,” Samet said. “She takes over as the school continues on a great trajectory, and she will undoubtedly take the Colorado School of Public Health into new realms. I look forward to seeing the great work she will accomplish in her post as dean.”

Bradley’s time at CU Anschutz has included a series of funding growth, collaboration and groundbreaking firsts. During her tenure, Bradley:

  • was the first health economist deputy director of an NCI-designated cancer center;
  • oversaw the ColoradoSPH nearly double its NIH-funded research alongside Dean Samet;
  • grew population sciences and supported the growth of community outreach and engagement, and establishment of the office of diversity, equity, inclusion, and access in the CU Cancer Center;
  • and saw the NCI designate the CU Cancer Center with its best score since inception.

Bradley has forged partnerships across campus and the community. Her research endeavors across her career have been at the intersection of cancer and its impacts on productivity costs and labor market outcomes  – with a specific focus on identifying policies that will decrease disparities across population groups. 

“The Colorado School of Public Health will be in extremely capable hands under Cathy’s leadership,” said Richard Schulick, MD, MBA, professor and chair of the Department of Surgery, director of the CU Cancer Center. “She has demonstrated skill, compassion and empathy throughout her career in cancer prevention research, focusing on helping the largest populations of people possible. The growth that happened at the CU Cancer Center under her leadership is incomparable, and we look forward to seeing what that energy can bring to the Colorado School of Public Health.” 

Colorado School of Public Health’s future: Building from a solid foundation

As Bradley looks ahead to her first fall as dean, she notes the secure position the school is in thanks to Dean Samet. 

“I am exceptionally grateful for Dean Samet’s leadership of the school over the last six years. Our school is poised to be an even stronger voice in public health – in Colorado, nationally and globally – because he positioned the school as a trusted source of expertise through the challenges of COVID and beyond. From research, education and administrative perspectives, we are ready to continue that leadership thanks to Dean Samet.” 

Bradley envisions her first year on the job to include a focus on expanding student support, increasing awareness around the school’s excellence and boosting collaboration across both CU Anschutz and the three universities that comprise the Colorado School of Public Health. She also intends to press the advantages the school has in specific areas of research, including a new PhD program in climate and human health in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, as well as population mental health and chronic disease. 

“This is a chance for us to continue to bolster the school together as we celebrate our 15th anniversary this year and as we make a stronger case for the importance of data- and research-driven public health decisions,” Bradley added.