Press Releases

2005 Releases

Fineberg Professorship Established at HSPH to Advance Practice of Public Health

For immediate release:  January 06, 2005 

Boston, MA -- Howard K. Koh, associate dean and professor at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), has been named the inaugural recipient of the Harvey V. Fineberg Professorship of Public Health, established to honor a former dean of the School and former Harvard provost.

The professorship was endowed with a gift from Richard L. Menschel, MBA '59, and his wife Ronay A. Menschel. The professorship may be held by a faculty member in the Division of Public Health Practice or in the Department of Biostatistics and will rotate to a new appointee every five years.

Effective January 1, Dr. Koh became the Harvey V. Fineberg Professor of the Practice of Public Health.

"It is a tremendous honor to be the recipient of this professorship, which reflects the sterling lifetime achievements of Harvey Fineberg and Richard and Ronay Menschel," said Dr. Koh, who joined the HSPH faculty in 2003 after serving as Massachusetts Commissioner of Public Health for six years. He leads the Division of Public Health Practice at the School. "Public health practice is ultimately how we all make a difference in the lives of people and in communities, where research and government intersect."

Dr. Fineberg was dean of HSPH for 13 years, before serving as provost of Harvard University from 1997 to 2001. He currently is president of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies, a non-profit organization that advises the federal government and nation on important topics of health and medicine. Dr. Fineberg has devoted much of his academic career to the fields of health policy and medical decision-making.

"I was simply overwhelmed to learn that Richard and Ronay Menschel had decided to designate an endowed professorship in my name," said Dr. Fineberg. "After many productive and exhilarating years at the School, this is a most agreeable way of extending my connection to the faculty. More importantly, assigning endowed resources to senior faculty enhances their ability to discover, to teach, and to improve health."

Mr. Menschel said, "My wife and I have had the pleasure of knowing Dr. Fineberg for many years, and have developed a tremendous respect and admiration for his commitment to public health and to the School. Few have done more for the Harvard School of Public Health and for the University. It is an honor to recognize him in this way."

Mr. Menschel has been a dedicated, long-time citizen of HSPH and Harvard University. His activities at the School include serving as a current member of the Dean's Council and of the Leadership Council. He chaired the School's Capital Campaign Committee during the last campaign and received this year's HSPH Volunteer Leadership Award. His many other activities at the University include being a former member of the Visiting Committee at the Harvard Business School (HBS) and a current member of the Campaign Advisory Committee at HBS. He is a member of the University's Executive Committee of the Committee on University Resources. From 1992 to 1999, he was national co-chair of the University's Campaign. He is engaged in a variety of civic activities beyond Harvard, including serving as a trustee (and former chair) of the Hospital for Special Surgery, the oldest orthopedic hospital in the country, and of the Pierpont Morgan Library. He is a senior director at Goldman Sachs. 

Through Mr. Menschel's initiation, the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation has also established a fellowship fund at HSPH for talented students who have demonstrated their commitment to public service. The fund may be used for tuition, fees, living expenses, or other related needs of the students. Up to half of the available funding each year may be made available to international students. Successful candidates will be known as Horace W. Goldsmith Fellows.

"The generosity of Richard and Ronay Menschel, who have been treasured friends to the School, as well as the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, helps secure our ability to train tomorrow's public health leaders and to cultivate the intellectual pursuits of our faculty," said HSPH Dean Barry Bloom. "I am thrilled that Howard Koh, an indefatigable leader in disease prevention and education efforts, has been appointed to the new professorship, named after a great leader of the School and in the world, and a great friend, my esteemed colleague, Harvey Fineberg."


For further information, please contact:


Christina Roache
Office of Communications
Harvard School of Public Health
677 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
Phone: 617-432-6052