Dr. Kenneth Harwood appointed as new Dean of Malek School of Health Professions

Later this year, the Malek School of Health Professions at Marymount University will be led by a new Dean who brings extensive experience in teaching, scholarship and service in the field of health care education.
Dr. Kenneth Harwood will begin in this role on July 6, 2020, and will build on existing momentum and forge new opportunities for the School and the University to achieve growth and continued success. He is currently the Director of George Washington University’s Health Care Quality Program in Clinical Research and Leadership, and is also the Research Director for the University’s Department of Health, Human Function and Rehabilitation Sciences. He previously served as Vice President of Practice and Education at the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), and held full-time academic positions at Columbia University, New York University (NYU) and the State University of New York’s (SUNY) Health Sciences Center at Brooklyn.
“Dr. Harwood is a proven leader in health care research and academia, and he is the best choice to lead the School,” said Provost and Senior Vice President, Dr. Hesham El-Rewini. “He brings a tremendous portfolio of skills and experiences, and I am fully confident that he will effectively shape the vision of the school as a leader in health care education and research.”
Dr. Harwood’s appointment is the result of a comprehensive national search process led by Marymount faculty and staff, with external aid from the national academic search firm Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates. Dr. El-Rewini praised the efforts of the Search Committee and its co-chairs, Dr. Skye Donovan and Alison Gregory, who agreed that Dr. Harwood stood out within a diverse pool of applicants.
“He is a celebrated teacher as well as an accomplished scholar and entrepreneur,” Dr. Donovan said. “He is renowned in the field of health care policy, quality and leadership.”
“Dr. Harwood’s active research portfolio, depth of experience with relevant professional associations and data-driven approach made him the ideal candidate,” Gregory added.
The Malek School of Health Professions is a well-recognized leader in the education of skilled, compassionate health care professionals. Undergraduate and graduate programs are offered in the departments of Health and Human Performance, Nursing and Physical Therapy, while clinical doctoral programs are available in Physical Therapy and Nursing Practice.
Students can also take advantage of the School’s various affiliations with many of the national capital area’s leading health care organizations – such as the Inova Health System, Children’s National Medical Center, MedStar NRH Rehabilitation Network and Virginia Hospital Center – to benefit from clinical experiences and internship placements that open the doors to career success.
“Dr. Harwood has a strong track record as an accomplished professor, strategic thinker and innovator,” said Dr. Irma Becerra, President of Marymount University. “We are always trying to find ways to better serve the health care needs of our nation. While the Malek School of Health Professions already enjoys a tremendous reputation thanks to the strength of our programs, I am confident that Dr. Harwood will lead the push to increase our level of research as well.”
In addition to these strengths, Dr. Harwood credits Marymount’s institutional mission and core values of professionalism, respect, integrity, diversity, excellence, faith and service for bringing him on board.
“Although there are many things that attracted me to Marymount, I was immediately drawn to the University’s welcoming community, its dedication to student growth and its desire to develop purpose beyond oneself,” Dr. Harwood explained. “I look forward to working together with students, faculty and administrators to meet the opportunities and challenges ahead.”
Dr. Harwood holds a bachelor’s degree in Physical Therapy from SUNY’s Downstate Medical Center, as well as master’s and doctoral degrees from NYU’s Biomechanics and Ergonomics Program. He has received numerous awards and recognitions over his career, including the Advocacy Award for Improved Caregiver Safety and the Distinguished Alumnus Award from SUNY’s Health Sciences Center at Brooklyn. He and his fellow researchers were also awarded the Woodbridge Award for Excellence in Research, and most recently the 2019 John M. Eisenberg Article of the Year Award from the Health Service Research Journal.
With his appointment as Dean, Dr. Harwood will take the place of Dr. Jeanne Matthews, who retires this February after serving as Dean of the Malek School of Health Professions since July 2014. She also filled the role of interim Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs from September 2018 through July 2019. Dr. Becerra and Dr. El-Rewini express their appreciation for her many years of service and her dedication to the success of Marymount students.
During the period between the retirement of Dr. Matthews in February and Dr. Harwood’s start date in July, Dr. Michelle Walters-Edwards will fulfill the duties of interim Dean of the Malek School of Health Professions.