Appointment of Susan Ettner as Dean of Graduate Education

June 25, 2021

Dear Colleagues:

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Susan Ettner as dean of graduate education, effective July 1, 2021.

A UCLA faculty member since 1999, Dr. Ettner is professor of general internal medicine and health services research in the David Geffen School of Medicine and professor of health policy and management in the Fielding School of Public Health. She has served as interim dean of graduate education since August 2020, preceded by three years as associate dean in the Graduate Division. She also holds an affiliate faculty position at Kazakh National Medical University. Before her appointment at UCLA, she served for nine years as a faculty member in the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard University.

Dr. Ettner’s current research focuses primarily on behavioral health policy. She has authored more than 220 peer-reviewed publications and has been the principal investigator on 25 grants or sub-awards and a co-investigator on 48 other studies. She is a former task force member and legislative analyst for the California Health Benefits Review Program, which provides independent analyses of the medical, financial, and public health impacts of proposed health insurance benefit mandates, and recently led an evaluation funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the impact of the federal Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act.

Currently the associate editor for the Journal of Mental Health Policy and Economics, Dr. Ettner has served as associate editor for Health Economics, as an editorial board member for Medical Decision Making,  and as a representative to the National Science Foundation’s Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate. Dr. Ettner has served on numerous campus committees, including the UCLA Gender Equity Committee; Steering Committee for Online Teaching and Learning; Summer Sessions Committee; Semel Healthy Campus Initiative Steering Committee; Center for the Study of Women Executive Committee; Provost’s Committee on Faculty Work/Life Issues; Early Care and Education Advisory Board; Startup UCLA Stewardship Council; and the UCLA Academic Senate’s Grievance Advisory Council, After the Moreno Report Task Force, Committee on Charges, and Committee on Faculty Welfare. This year she was recognized with the UCLA Graduate Student Association Presidential Service Award. She earned bachelor’s degrees in mathematics/economics and German from UC Santa Barbara and a Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

I want to thank the search/advisory committee members for assembling an outstanding pool of candidates and for their roles in recruiting Susan. Brian Kite, interim dean of the School of Theater, Film and Television and professor of theater, was the committee chair. Other members were:

  • Robert Cooper – associate professor of education; co-director, UCLA Principal Leadership Institute
  • Anna S. Lau – professor and vice chair of graduate studies, Department of Psychology; associate dean for inclusive excellence, Division of Life Sciences
  • Joseph A. Loo – professor of chemistry and biochemistry, and of biological chemistry
  • Marissa K. López – professor of English and of Chicana/o Studies
  • Gregory S. Payne – professor of biological chemistry; senior associate dean of bioscience graduate education, David Geffen School of Medicine; director of graduate programs in bioscience; associate dean of graduate education, Division of Life Sciences
  • Jessica Rett – professor and director of graduate studies, Department of Linguistics
  • Brooke A. Scelza – associate professor of anthropology
  • Richard D. Wesel – professor of electrical and computer engineering; associate dean of academic and student affairs, UCLA Samueli School of Engineering

Chancellor Block and I are grateful for Susan’s distinguished service as interim dean during the past 11 months. Both in this role and as associate dean, Susan has proven to be a dedicated, thoughtful, and strong leader, and we are confident that graduate education will continue to thrive under her capable leadership. Please join us in congratulating Susan and welcoming her as dean of graduate education.


Emily A. Carter

Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost