After dedicating 54 years of his life to public service, Dr. Anthony Fauci has chosen Georgetown University to play a major role in the next phase of his career.
Starting July 1, Fauci will serve as a Distinguished University Professor in the School of Medicine’s Department of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases, an academic division that provides clinical care, conducts research and trains future physicians in infectious diseases. He will also hold an additional appointment in the university’s McCourt School of Public Policy.
The rank of University Professor is Georgetown’s highest professional honor that recognizes extraordinary achievement in scholarship, teaching and service.
“We are deeply honored to welcome Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, a dedicated public servant, humanitarian and visionary global health leader, to Georgetown,” says Georgetown President John J. DeGioia. “Dr. Fauci has embodied the Jesuit value of being in service to others throughout his career, and we are grateful to have his expertise, strong leadership and commitment to guiding the next generation of leaders to meet the pressing issues of our time.”
Watch Dr. Fauci Reflect on His Career and New Role
Fauci, a physician, leading immunologist and infectious disease researcher and advisor to seven U.S. presidents, most recently served as the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes Of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland. In December 2022, he stepped down after 38 years as director to pursue the next phase of his career: continuing to advance public health and mentoring and inspiring the next generation of leaders in science, health care and public service.
As a Distinguished University Professor at Georgetown, Fauci will participate in medical and graduate education and engage with students.
“I am delighted to join the Georgetown family, an institution steeped in clinical and academic excellence with an emphasis on the Jesuit tradition of public service,” Fauci said. “This is a natural extension of my scientific, clinical and public health career, which was initially grounded from my high school and college days where I was exposed to intellectual rigor, integrity and service-mindedness of Jesuit institutions.”
Fauci’s Catholic upbringing and Jesuit education left an imprint on his career trajectory and approach to medicine and public service. He graduated from Regis High School in New York City in 1958 and the College of the Holy Cross in 1962 — two Jesuit institutions that cultivated intellectual rigor and service to others, he said.
“[At Regis High School], it was explicit that public service and service to others is what you should do in addition to all the very important characteristics of Jesuit training: integrity, precision of thought, economy of expression, consideration for others, honesty. … Holy Cross fortified the same principles that I learned in Regis High School,” he said. “I was so attracted to those characteristics that I made them a part of me.”
Fauci went on to become a renowned physician, immunologist and infectious disease researcher and scientific leader who navigated seven U.S. presidential administrations through infectious disease threats, including HIV/AIDS, SARS, MERS, avian influenza, swine flu, Zika, Ebola and COVID-19, among others.
He played a crucial role as a lead researcher on the study, diagnosis and treatment of HIV/AIDS. Fauci made key discoveries that informed the current understanding of the disease and, as NIAID director, led and coordinated the development of successful treatments, engaged with communities who were affected, and was a key architect of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which has helped save more than 25 million lives worldwide. In 2008, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his pioneering work on HIV/AIDS.
In facing the AIDS crisis in the 1980s, Fauci said he relied on learnings from his Jesuit education, particularly in realizing the need to listen to community members affected by or at risk for HIV.
“They [the LGBTQIA+ community] were not paid attention to because the standard way was ‘We’re the scientists, you’re the community. We know better. Trust us. Listen to us. Everything will be alright.’ And they said, ‘No, that’s not acceptable. We’re dying. We need to change the rules here,’” Fauci said.
“Once they gained our attention, the idea that I learned from the training I had was to be open-minded, fair, precise and analytical in what you’re listening to,” Fauci said. “And when I listened to what they were saying, they were making perfect sense. … What was starting off as a confrontational relationship turned into a major collaboration that very likely saved a lot of lives.”
Until December 2022, Fauci served as the chief medical advisor to President Joe Biden and advised the administration on the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out. After stepping down from NIH at age 82, he was drawn next to Georgetown, a place that holds special connections for him and his family.
A Special Connection to Georgetown
This June, Fauci and his wife, Christine Grady (N’74, G’93), stood in Georgetown’s Dahlgren Chapel in the same spot they were married 38 years earlier.
“It brings back a lot of meaning to those memories,” Grady said, looking around the quiet, historic space lined with stained-glass windows. “Because Georgetown is a special place for me, especially, but for both of us.”
Grady, chair of NIH’s Department of Bioethics and head of the department’s Section on Human Subjects Research, is a double Hoya who received her bachelor’s in nursing and biology and Ph.D. in philosophy from Georgetown. Grady and Fauci were married at Dahlgren Chapel in 1985, had their three daughters at Georgetown University Hospital, and live within walking distance of the Washington, DC, neighborhood of Georgetown.
Looking at her husband in the chapel, she said, “It made me proud that this was your choice.”
“Me too,” Fauci said.
Deciding on Georgetown
For Fauci, deciding to come to Georgetown after receiving offers from other universities, institutions and companies was “a no-brainer.”
He had engaged with Georgetown students, faculty and staff over the years, speakingon campus and in avirtual discussion at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. And he knew he wanted to stay in Washington, DC, be involved in a community of academics and students, join a medical center, and be able to work in both medicine and public policy.
“When you look around, all of a sudden it became very clear what I wanted to do because Georgetown essentially filled all of those criteria — and then it has so many other aspects of it that you couldn’t make it up,” he said, referring to his family’s connections to the university. “I feel like I’m coming home.”
Fauci said he’s looking forward to combining his interests in medicine and public policy with his dual appointments in the School of Medicine and McCourt School of Public Policy, collaborating with colleagues and students across the university and mentoring and inspiring the next generation.
“Through his extraordinary leadership and example, Anthony S. Fauci leveraged his role at the National Institutes of Health to influence not only medicine but policy, saving countless lives around the world as a result,” said Maria Cancian, dean of the McCourt School of Public Policy. “We are honored to have such a distinguished practitioner, one who faced and navigated some of the world’s most pressing issues, to guide our students in becoming transformative global leaders.”
Over the past two decades, Georgetown has emerged as a leader in global health, public policy and law. In June 2022, the university launched theGlobal Health Institute to apply research, teaching and service of the university’s many global health centers and institutes to develop concrete solutions for the health and care of global populations, with a focus on the issues of equity and development. Georgetown also recently created its first undergraduate degree in public policy, which students will be able to pursue from the university’s downtown campus in 2024.
“At Georgetown, students have access to the very best medical, scientific and public health minds, and now, they will be able to learn from the extraordinary experience of Dr. Fauci, who embodies all three of those strengths,” said Dr. Edward Healton, executive vice president for health sciences and executive dean of the School of Medicine. “We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Fauci, who has lived the value of cura personalis through his service to others and to the advancement of biomedical research and medicine, to deepen this impact.”
Training, mentoring and inspiring the next generation will be part of Fauci’s work at Georgetown. Before he stepped down from NIAID, he said he was often asked if he would continue to run clinical trials and conduct experiments in the lab like he did at NIH. He said no.
“I ask myself, now at this stage in my life, what do I have to offer to society?” he said. “And I think, sure, I could do more experiments in the lab and have my lab going. But given what I’ve been through, I think what I have to offer is experience and inspiration to the younger generation of students. … If I accomplish that, I think I’ll make a major contribution to Georgetown.”
“I ask myself, now at this stage in my life, what do I have to offer to society? I think what I have to offer is experience and inspiration to the younger generation of students. If I accomplish that, I think I’ll make a major contribution to Georgetown.”