Michelle Williams ’84 will be taking post as the new dean of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in July, the school announced Feb. 19. Williams, who obtained her undergraduate degree in biology from Princeton, is an esteemed epidemiologist best known for her research on infant and maternal health. She will move into this new position from her current roles within the Chan School as a professor and the epidemiology department chair.

Williams’ appointment does not come as a surprise given her distinguished role within her field as both a researcher and educator. Additionally, following calls for increased diversity at Harvard, many are celebrating the impact her selection will have on the diversity of the faculty. Williams is the first black dean of a Harvard faculty and the first woman to lead the Chan School.

The appointee has expressed her excitement about taking on this new role and the opportunities to come. In a message to the Chan School community, she said she looks forward to “this tremendous opportunity to advance our collective commitment to understanding and confronting public health challenges worldwide.”