Paul B. Rothman to retire after decade as CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine and dean of the medical faculty

Rothman's tenure as the school's 14th dean was marked by significant contributions and investments that advanced the research, clinical, and education missions of Hopkins Medicine

Liz Vandendriessche
Cell phone

Paul B. Rothman, a passionate scientist, dedicated investigator, and deeply caring physician who has served as dean of the medical faculty for Johns Hopkins University's School of Medicine and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine for the past decade, will retire from his position effective July 1.

Paul Rothman

Image caption: Paul Rothman

His retirement caps a decade of exceptional service to Johns Hopkins Medicine as it continued its pre-eminence in education, discovery, and patient care and served as a vital and trusted global resource during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Being asked to lead this incredible organization was both exciting and humbling, and working here has been the most meaningful experience of my career," Rothman wrote in a message to the Hopkins Medicine community earlier today. "I have long envisioned myself as a 10-year Dean/CEO. A decade felt like the right time horizon to help advance the missions of JHM. That vision was crystallized by the COVID-19 pandemic, which demanded so much of our institution and our community. Two years later, I believe that we have navigated the worst of the pandemic, and it is time for a new leader to guide us forward."

Theodore DeWeese, vice dean for clinical affairs and president of the Johns Hopkins Clinical Practice Association, will serve as interim dean and CEO.

"As dean and CEO, Paul brings the insights and expertise of a consummate clinician-scientist to his work and the impact on our institution is significant," JHU President Ron Daniels and Bill Conway, chairman of the Johns Hopkins Medicine board of trustees, wrote in a message to the Hopkins community today.

"But it is Paul's humanity, humility, and willingness to do whatever it takes that has kept our patient care and research missions moving forward. This was never more evident than in his steadfast and humane leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether briefing policy makers or leading the quick and safe reopening of Johns Hopkins clinical services, Paul's commitment to caring for others, rooted in the best science, helped us all to navigate the rapid and ever-evolving virus and its variants, from alpha to omicron."

Rothman, a rheumatologist and molecular immunologist, joined Johns Hopkins in July 2012, succeeding Edward D. Miller, who retired after 15 years as the School of Medicine's 13th dean and the first CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine.

During his tenure, Rothman has made numerous important contributions to, and investments in, the Hopkins enterprise, including:

  • Shepherding the successful appointments of 30 faculty through the university's Bloomberg Distinguished Professors program
  • Providing early and vocal support for the creation of the Catalyst and Discovery Awards programs for early-career faculty and cross-disciplinary research teams, respectively
  • Launching his signature Joy in Medicine initiative that seeks to foster an environment in which clinicians, researchers, nurses, and staff can thrive personally and professionally
  • Creating the Office of Well-Being and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at Johns Hopkins Medicine
  • Establishing a clinical promotion track to celebrate the clinical excellence of Hopkins faculty along with clinical awards to recognize outstanding providers
  • Investing in digital infrastructure enabling Hopkins to lead the way into the era of big data medicine and precision medicine
  • Securing record levels of external grant funding and producing a steady stream of discoveries and innovations that have received numerous awards and widespread recognition
  • Developing physical infrastructure to support the academic health center of the future with the opening of new hospital buildings at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Sibley Memorial Hospital, and Suburban Hospital; the addition of Greenspring Station Pavilion 3; and the development of new research facilities in East Baltimore

Additionally, the institution will also soon announce a major initiative to minimize debt for medical students to ensure that the best and brightest continue to train at Johns Hopkins.

"Dr. Rothman has been central to furthering JHM's reputation as a peerless academic medical center that delivers exceptional medical education, high-quality care, and esteemed clinical research," Conway said. "As we offer our profound thanks to Dr. Rothman for his many years of service, we also look ahead to a continuing our legacy of excellence for generations to come."

"Being asked to lead this incredible organization was both exciting and humbling, and working here has been the most meaningful experience of my career."
Paul Rothman
Dean of the medical faculty, CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine

DeWeese is an internationally recognized oncologist and a prolific researcher who has made landmark contributions to his field and served in successive leadership roles since joining the Johns Hopkins medical faculty in 1995. He is the founding director of the Department of Radiation Oncology and Molecular Sciences and served as chair of the medical board and president of the medical staff for The Johns Hopkins Hospital. He has also played a critical role in advancing strategic initiatives and program development to enhance and expand the university's discovery, clinical, and education missions.

"It has been a great honor and privilege to serve as a department director and more recently as a vice dean for Paul Rothman," DeWeese said. "He is an incredible leader. He is a decent, kind and, caring person, and his keen focus on the patient as a way to center all decisions has always resonated with me. His accomplishments over the past 10 years have been many, and I have the utmost respect for Dr. Rothman and his dedication to making Johns Hopkins great."

In their message, Daniels and Conway thanked Rothman for his decade of devotion to Johns Hopkins Medicine and wished him the best in his next chapter.

They also recalled the time early in his tenure, in the wake of Hurricane Sandy in October 2012, that Rothman donned waders and worked side by side with colleagues to move research materials out of the flooded basement of an East Baltimore research building, "salvaging countless hours of work and ensuring that potential discoveries were not lost to the elements."

"In moments like these, and so many others," they wrote, "Paul demonstrated the essential ethos of persistence, collaboration, and care that define Johns Hopkins Medicine."

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