Eve J. Higginbotham, SM, MD
Vice Dean, Inclusion & Diversity
Eve J. Higginbotham, SM, MD is the Vice Dean for Inclusion and Diversity at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also a Senior Fellow of the Leonard Davis Institute and Professor of Ophthalmology, as she continues to roles as clinical researcher and glaucoma specialist. Prior to joining Penn in August 2013, Dr. Higginbotham served as a Visiting Scholar for Health Equity at the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) in Washington, D.C.,. Previous notalable leadership roles, include Senior Vice President and Executive Dean for Health Sciences at Howard University and Dean and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta. She was also the first woman to head an ophthalmology department at an academic medical center in the United States, serving as chair of the Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences Department at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. Prior to joining the University of Maryland, Dr. Higginbotham served as Assistant Dean for Faculty Affairs at the University of Michigan.
During her career, she has also held several leadership positions in professional organizations, including President of the Harvard Medical School Alumni Council, President of the Baltimore City Medical Society, President of the Maryland Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons, Vice President for Women in Ophthalmology, and member of the Board of Trustees of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). As a member of the Harvard University Board of Overseers 2008-14, Dr. Higginbotham served on a number of committees, including the Visiting Committee for Harvard Medical School, Natural and Applied Sciences, Finance, Administration, and Management, and Alumni Affairs and Development. In 2011, she joined the MIT Corporation, where she served on the visiting committees on chemistry, political science, and the health sciences and technology program. She continues to serve as a member of the Visiting Committee of the Institute of Medical Engineering and Science (IMES) at MIT. Dr. Higginbotham is currently President Elect of the AOA Medical Honor Society, a Board member of Ascension and a member of its Executive Committee, and a member of the Defense Health Board, for which she is leading a review of the Deployment Health Centers in 2016-17.
Among her numerous honors, she received the Senior Achievement Award (2002) and a Life Achievement Award (2015) from the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the Women of Achievement Award in 2011 from the Young Women's Christian Association, a group dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.
Dr. Higginbotham has authored over 100 peer-reviewed articles and co-edited four ophthalmology textbooks and continues to remain active in health policy and patient care at the University of Pennsylvania.
Broadening the Penn Medicine Community: A Profile on Vice Dean Eve Higginbotham and the Office of Inclusion and Diversity
February 14, 2017, Francesca Tuazon
Launched in August 2013, the Office of Inclusion and Diversity is a relatively new addition to Penn Medicine that supports, evaluates, and generates programs that promote diversity within our research community. Prior to the generation of this office, initiatives and programs to broaden access in the medical school and biomedical graduate studies, from graduate students to faculty, were handled by separate entities. There was a need for an executive-level office to direct a more cohesive and coordinated effort. The Office of Inclusion and Diversity (OID) is a product Penn Medicine’s five-year Strategic Plan, “Shaping the Future of Medicine,” which incorporates goals set by President Gutmann’s Action Plan for Faculty Diversity and Excellence. Overall, the OID represents an administrative commitment to fostering innovation at Penn through inclusion and diversity.