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Manoj Mohanan Takes Over as Interim Dean at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy

Manoj Mohanan Takes Over as Interim Dean at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy

  • The Indian American was most recently senior associate dean for faculty and research at the school.

As interim dean of Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy, Manoj Mohanan is looking forward “to supporting his colleagues, and continuing to build the school’s resources and community.” The Indian American who took over the role as interim dean on July 1 for a two-year term, told the university in an interview that his new position gives him “the opportunity to provide the school and my colleagues with stability and continuity as we proceed,” as well as “an opportunity to hopefully make a difference and support my colleagues.”

Mohanan, most recently Sanford’s senior associate dean for faculty and research, has been a faculty member at the school since 2011. He is an applied microeconomist, focusing on health and development economics, with a background in medicine and public health. “Most of my work looks at provider behavior, for instance, how healthcare workers, doctors, and nurses perform in real-world settings and how we can improve quality of care,” he told the university.

In addition to his ongoing research on quality of care and performance in healthcare, Mohanan has been studying long-term mental health consequences of the large-scale disruptions caused by COVID-19 and its effect on the vulnerability of households in India, according to his Sanford profile. 

He has spearheaded initiatives and served in leadership positions. He led Sanford’s Undergraduate Task Force to help shape the student experience in the public policy major. With Professor Deondra Rose, Mohanan received a Duke grant to create an immersive learning experience for students to engage directly with U.S. policymakers in partnership with Duke in Washington, D.C. 

Mohanan grew up in Khopoli, a small town outside Mumbai. He wanted to be an Air Force pilot and was selected for commissioning in the Indian Air Force. Instead, he ended up going to medical school. After studying medicine in India, and then pursuing graduate training in public health, he realized his true passions in health policy, economics, and public policy.

 “I love my work. I love my research, I love the community that I’m part of, the impact my work has had so far, and the potential for more impact. It is truly more than what I could have asked for,” he told the university. 

See Also

During the pandemic, Mohanan led and co-led two of the first seroprevalence studies that provided critical early evidence on the spread of the pandemic in India.

In 2022, he was recognized as one of Apolitical’s Top 100 most influential academics in government.

His research has been published in leading interdisciplinary and disciplinary journals. He serves on the editorial board of Health Economics and is a standing member of NIH’s Study Section on Social Science and Population.

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