story by Homma Rafi
Director of Communications, School of Public Health
Dr. Lyn has been senior associate dean for academic and strategic initiatives since 2018 and interim dean of the School of Public Health since 2019.
“The pandemic has vividly demonstrated the importance of public health to our society, including research, scholarship and education of the next generation of professionals,” said Wendy Hensel, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “Dr. Lyn has served our institution during this critical and challenging time as a key member of Georgia State. I am confident that under Dr. Lyn’s leadership, the school will emerge as a national leader and innovator.”
During his tenure as interim dean, Dr. Lyn served on Georgia State’s COVID-19 Coordinating Committee and as a chair in the Task Force for Racial Equality. He has led the successful recruitment of diverse faculty, reinvigorated alumni engagement to achieve historic fundraising goals and overseen the establishment of a new graduate degree concentration, a 4+1 dual degree, and a new graduate certificate program in the School of Public Health.
“I’m deeply honored to be asked to lead the strong and rising School of Public Health at Georgia State,” Dr. Lyn said. “I look forward to working closely with the faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends of the school to attain new heights in research and in education and training of the next generation of public health professionals.”
Dr. Lyn established the School of Public Health’s Diversity Council, a group charged with identifying actions the school can take to address and reduce systemic racism and police violence against Black people and other underrepresented groups and with articulating the school’s vision and goals regarding issues of diversity more broadly to further the school’s commitment to promoting social justice. The school enrolls the highest percentage of Black/African American public health bachelor’s and master’s students among the 60-plus Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) member schools and programs.
Dr. Lyn joined Georgia State in 2004 and has been on the public health faculty since 2007. A recognized expert on obesity prevention and community health, he has led or contributed to grants totaling more than $16 million from federal and state agencies, foundations and not-for-profit organizations.
He is co-principal investigator for the Prevention Research Center at Georgia State, which works with community leaders and organizations to identify community health needs and to intervene through research. The center is supported by funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Other recent projects include the Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health, a CDC-supported partnership with Morehouse School of Medicine to address food deserts; the Georgia Childhood Obesity Prevention Program, a multi-county initiative to support and accelerate local policy and environmental interventions for obesity prevention, with funding from Healthcare Georgia Foundation; Partnerships to Improve Community Health, a CDC-supported partnership with Fulton County Health Department focused on prevention of tobacco use and a study examining mortality disparities and resilience in low-income, minority communities in the South, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. He previously served as deputy director for Georgia State’s National Institutes of Health-funded Center of Excellence on Health Disparities Research.
Dr. Lyn earned his doctor’s degree in educational policy studies, with an emphasis in public policy, from the College of Education & Human Development at Georgia State. He serves on the editorial board and as associate editor of the journal Public Health Reports—the official journal of the U.S. Surgeon General and the U.S. Public Health Service—and as an editorial board member for the American Journal for Health Promotion. Dr. Lyn is a member of the American Public Health Association and the International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity.
Dr. Lyn succeeds Dr. Michael Eriksen, founding dean of the school.