Nationwide — Melissa L. Gilliam, a distinguished educator, scholar, and physician, has been appointed as the 11th president of Boston University, making history as the first Black woman to hold this position since the institution was founded in 1839.
Gilliam is a renowned educator, scholar, research scientist, and physician who currently serves as the executive vice president and provost of The Ohio State University. She is also a professor of obstetrics and gynecology and pediatrics, with a focus on promoting adolescent health and well-being. Her academic journey includes studying English literature at Yale and earning a Master of Arts in philosophy and politics from the University of Oxford.
However, Gilliam’s connection to Boston University goes back to her time at Harvard Medical School and her collaboration with BU School of Public Health researchers during a project in Ecuador. She has a deep appreciation for BU’s engagement with the city of Boston.
“From the very beginning, I was able to form that connection to Boston University,” said Gilliam, according to BU Today. “And I always knew it as a place that was going places that other institutions weren’t.”
Gilliam’s appointment follows a rigorous year-long search process, involving input from students, faculty, staff, and alumni, which identified her as the ideal candidate. She brings extensive experience from both private and public universities, with a strong commitment to research, fundraising, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.
As she prepares to take on this new role, Gilliam’s impressive background in medicine and academia, combined with her passion for societal challenges, makes her a promising leader for Boston University’s future.
Gilliam will officially assume her new role on July 1, 2024, making her Boston University’s 11th president.