Susan Ettner has been named UCLA’s dean of graduate education, effective July 1.

A faculty member since 1999, Ettner is a professor of general internal medicine and health services research at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and professor of health policy and management at the UCLA 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.

“I am deeply honored to have been entrusted with promoting the academic success and welfare of the exceptionally talented graduate students and postdocs at UCLA,” Ettner said. “As a first-generation college graduate and first-generation American who has often struggled to achieve a sense of belonging in academia, I relate deeply to many of the issues and barriers faced by our talented young scholars.

“I look forward to collaborating closely with our Graduate Division staff and key campus partners, such as the Graduate Council and UCLA Student Affairs, to ensure that UCLA can continue to attract outstanding trainees and help them achieve their full potential.”

Ettner’s current research focuses primarily on behavioral health policy. She has written 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.

Before her appointment at UCLA, she served for nine years as a faculty member in the department of health care policy at Harvard University. She also 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 she 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, 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.

She has served on numerous campus committees, including the UCLA Gender Equity Committee, the Steering Committee for Online Teaching and Learning, the Summer Sessions Committee, the Semel Healthy Campus Initiative Steering Committee; and the Provost’s Committee on Faculty Work/Life Issues. Ettner received the UCLA Graduate Student Association Presidential Service Award earlier this year.

“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,” Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Emily Carter wrote in a message to the campus.

Ettner earned bachelor’s degrees in mathematics/economics and German from UC Santa Barbara and a doctorate in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.