Dear Friends-Colleagues:

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Anita M. Navarro, Ed.D., as the medical school’s inaugural chief of staff.


Anita M. Navarro, Ed.D.

This is a return to VCU for Dr. Navarro who spent nearly 20 years at the university, including 11 in the medical school. For the past eight years, she has served in a variety of leadership roles at the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the premiere academic national organization that represents medical schools and teaching hospitals in the U.S. and Canada.

Most recently, as a senior staff member in Academic Affairs, she has been responsible for a wide range of executive, administrative and programmatic duties in support of the AAMC’s chief academic officer and Academic Affairs. Her portfolio includes strategic planning and implementation, developing and implementing policy, and managing federal and constituent relationships. She was also called on to lead the AAMC’s involvement in the White House’s Joining Forces initiative during the Obama administration, as well as a crisis team in the wake of hurricanes that affected medical schools in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

As our medical school’s inaugural chief of staff, Dr. Navarro will have a broad portfolio of responsibilities including operations oversight for the SOM Dean’s Office, strategic planning, key project implementation, community outreach, and both internal and external communications. We look forward to her collaborative approaches to enhance our communications across departments and units within the medical school, also working in tandem with our health system and university communications teams to expand more broadly our School of Medicine media and communications outreach to our community. She also will support the planning, policy formation and strategic implementation of programs envisioned by our senior leadership team.

Dr. Navarro’s varied experiences in working with White House staff, the Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Academic Affiliations and other high level organizational executives will be of tremendous benefit to our medical school. She has a deep understanding of the service mission of an institution of public higher education, and especially of an academic medical center. To that end, we also look forward to Dr. Navarro strengthening our academic partnerships, including with other universities in the Commonwealth of Virginia, with our already robust relationships with the McGuire VA and with the AAMC.

We are particularly fortunate that Dr. Navarro will bring with her a proven record of commitment to VCU and to our medical school. Many here may remember Dr. Navarro’s prior service in our medical school as curriculum director and in creating career development programs for the medical students, and she is an alumna of our university.

Our thanks go to Brian Aboff, M.D., senior associate dean for graduate medical education, as well as members of the search committee for their leadership and service in identifying such an exceptional addition to our team.

Please welcome back Dr. Navarro when she joins us on August 20.

Warm Regards,

Peter F. Buckley, M.D.
Dean, VCU School of Medicine
Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, VCU Health System