Maureen Durkin, PhD, DrPH, will become the next chair of the Department of Population Health Sciences, and the Evan and Marion Helfaer Professor of Public Health at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

Durkin is a professor of population health sciences, where she has served as director of its graduate program, vice chair, and for the past year, interim chair.

Durkin is one of the nation’s leading experts in the epidemiology of developmental disorders. Her work focuses on prevention, antecedents, and consequences of neurodevelopmental syndromes and childhood injuries.

She has served in many national and international leadership capacities, including assignments to major task forces for the World Health Organization, the National Institutes of Health, the Institute of Medicine, and the Centers for Disease Control, among others.

The position is a natural fit, according to Robert Golden, MD, dean of the UW School of Medicine and Public Health.

“Maureen’s extensive national and international expertise, coupled with her deep and profound institutional loyalty, make her exceptionally well suited for advancing the missions of this vitally important department, which remains a cornerstone in our transformation into the nation’s first school of medicine and public health,” he said. “We are very excited to welcome her into this leadership role.”

Durkin completed her undergraduate degree and received a PhD in anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and then received a master of public health degree and a doctorate in public health in epidemiology from Columbia University.

She was an associate professor of clinical epidemiology at Columbia prior to her recruitment to UW-Madison in 2003.

Durkin assumes her new position on Jan. 1, 2018.