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Tara Sabo-Attwood

Tara Sabo-Attwood returns to USC as new dean for the Arnold School of Public Health

Donna Arnett, executive vice president for academic affairs and provost, is pleased to announce the selection of a highly accomplished public health leader, Tara Sabo-Attwood, as the new dean of the Arnold School of Public Health. Sabo-Attwood will assume the role on August 1, 2024.

“It is a pleasure to welcome Dr. Sabo-Attwood back to USC, where she distinguished herself as an early-career faculty member in the Arnold School of Public Health,” President Michael Amiridis said. “She returns as an accomplished researcher, educator, mentor, and public health and wellness advocate, with a strong record of academic excellence and innovative leadership.”


Proven leader in public health education and research

Sabo-Attwood brings a wealth of experience to the Arnold School, having served for 17 years in various leadership positions after earning her bachelor’s degree in medical technology and Genetics from the University of Connecticut and her Ph.D. in biomedical sciences with a specialty in environmental toxicology and pharmacology from the University of Florida. She also spent four years at USC as an assistant professor and three years as the director of the Nano-Environmental Strategic Group. Her impressive record includes:

  • Serving as department chair at the University of Florida's Department of Environmental and Global Health, where she oversaw significant growth in research focus, faculty diversity, and educational programs
  • Increasing extramural funding substantially through strategic faculty recruitment and diversification of research portfolios
  • Establishing the college's first wellness program in her role as associate dean of cultural affairs and wellness programs and leading student engagement with community health initiatives

Provost Arnett praised Sabo-Attwood's collaborative approach and commitment to innovation. "Tara is a visionary leader with a proven track record of success," she said. "Her expertise in environmental and global health, coupled with her dedication to supportive leadership, will be invaluable to the Arnold School as it addresses the most pressing public health challenges of our time."


Building on a strong foundation

Sabo-Attwood will take the helm of the Arnold School from retiring dean, Tommy Chandler, who served the school for 17 years. His tenure oversaw remarkable growth in faculty, staff and student numbers as well as substantial increases in budget and research funds.

“I owe my first real introduction to public health as a discipline and practice to the Arnold School. As a new assistant professor trained in STEM I was afforded the opportunity to see environmental health problems through a public health lens,” said Sabo-Attwood about how she has arrived at this point in her career. “Having the ability to bridge disciplines effectively has played a key role in shaping unique research and academic programing initiatives during my career.”

Sabo-Attwood also expressed her anticipation to rejoin the Arnold School.

“It is exciting to be returning to a place I know and care about,” Sabo-Attwood said. “What the ASPH has accomplished over the past 2 decades is awe-inspiring and I am energized to put my experience and success in public health leadership to work.”