Introducing PHU’s Academic Director,
Dr. E. Anne Peterson

Anne E. Peterson, MD, MPH, recently joined as the Director of Public Health. Dr. Peterson directs Public Health U (an initiative of and its associated academic programs in public health, global health, and education. Dr. Peterson’s professional journey is distinguished by pivotal roles across various sectors, each contributing to her extensive knowledge and hands-on experience in public health. 

From her tenure as the Assistant Administrator for the Bureau of Global Health at the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to serving as the State Health Commissioner for the Commonwealth of Virginia, she has adeptly navigated the complexities of health policy, program implementation, and emergency response.

As the Vice-Dean of Ponce Health Sciences University and a Research Professor at George Washington University, she played a pivotal role in shaping the next generation of public health leaders, guiding accreditation processes, teaching courses, and conducting research on critical topics such as food security and leadership. Her academic portfolio includes successfully guiding accreditation by the Council of Education in Public Health (CEPH) of Ponce Health Sciences’ (PHSU) public health program in just three years, a remarkable feat underscoring her exceptional leadership and dedication to academic excellence.  Furthermore, Dr. Peterson played a pivotal role in curriculum development, taking the lead in revising the overall program curriculum to ensure its pertinence and alignment with contemporary public health challenges. This responsibility extended to overseeing a cohort of approximately 60 Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) epidemiology students, representing the sole DrPH program specializing in epidemiology in Puerto Rico.

Leading global health programming in organizations such as World Vision International and Americares, Dr. Peterson spearheaded transformative initiatives that reshaped the global health landscape. Her strategic vision and expert leadership were instrumental in transitioning these organizations into programmatic powerhouses with a strong focus on addressing chronic diseases and mental health and strengthening health systems. Under her guidance, health programs expanded across 32 countries, meeting diverse needs with rigorous evaluation and impactful outcomes. Dr. Peterson’s journey in global health is deeply rooted in her humanitarian spirit and hands-on experience in the field. From spearheading community development and AIDS prevention efforts as a missionary in Africa to her recent endeavors in conflict zones and humanitarian emergencies, she has consistently championed the cause of the underserved and marginalized.


Dr. Peterson’s experience in government, the nonprofit sector, and academia contribute to her leadership at Public Health U and, where she continues contributing her expertise to ongoing projects and initiatives. Notably, she has spearheaded updates to our Ph.D. in Global Health Program and is collaborating closely with the Instructional Design team to launch our Master of Education for Health Professionals. These efforts underscore her dedication to advancing education in the realm of public health. Dr. Peterson’s academic contributions to knowledge and innovation enhance the learning journey of our students and nurture a culture of continual growth and development.

Under her guidance, Public Health U has implemented a series of updates to policies, procedures, and course offerings, all aimed at elevating our students’ standard of public health education. As a seasoned public health professional, Dr. Peterson remains unwavering in her dedication to nurturing like-minded leaders in low and middle-income countries. Her commitment extends beyond academia, as she tirelessly works to empower individuals to address and effectively confront public health challenges in their respective communities.


We are excited to witness the positive impact Dr. Peterson will undoubtedly have on Public Health U through her visionary initiatives and commitment to advancing Public Health. At Public Health U, we firmly believe in the transformative power of education to bring about positive change, and our mission is to ensure that this education is accessible to all. Together, we can make a meaningful difference in public health, one student at a time.

Reisha Narine


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