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Claire E. Sterk, PhD

About Overview

Claire E. Sterk is the provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and Charles Howard Candler Professor of Public Health.

Prior to her appointment as provost in 2013, Sterk had served since 2005 as Emory’s senior vice provost for academic planning and faculty development, charged with overseeing the development of academic/research programs in areas including faculty retention, recruitment and early retirement, and faculty and student initiatives. In that capacity, she also led the Emory Strategic Plan initiative “Strengthening Faculty Distinction” and participated in the review of promotion and tenure procedures.

In 2008 Sterk founded the Center for Faculty Development and Excellence, which assists faculty at every level of their careers, from graduate student to emeritus. Other faculty development activities included the Academic Leadership Program, which strengthens academic leadership performance across the university and establishes a pipeline for succession planning.

A member of the Emory faculty since 1995, Sterk was appointed Charles Howard Candler Professor of Public Health in 2000, having been a former associate dean for research in Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health. Sterk also holds faculty appointments in sociology; anthropology; and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies. She continues to contribute to Emory’s teaching mission and was recognized in the university’s Great Teachers Lecture Series, as the Mary Anne Morgan Lecturer in Women’s Health, and as a Distinguished Faculty Lecturer.

Sterk holds two active NIH grants, and her primary research interests are addiction, mental health, and HIV/AIDS, with a focus on gender, health disparities, and community-based interventions. The first person to identify the risk of HIV infection due to unprotected sex among crack cocaine users, Sterk is a leading international figure in the field of public health and anthropology.

She has authored two books—Fast Lives: Women Who Use Crack Cocaine and Tricking and Tripping: Prostitution in the Era of AIDS—and published more than 100 articles and book chapters. 

She serves on several editorial boards, is the president of the Alcohol, Drug, and Tobacco section of the American Sociological Association, and a board member of the Society for Applied Anthropology. Until recently, Sterk was a member of the National Advisory Council of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health. She is a fellow of the Society for Applied Anthropology, was a recipient of the Thomas F. Sellers Jr. M.D. Award for Support of Faculty Colleagues in Public Health (1999), and was appointed as a Rosalynn Carter Fellow in Public Policy (2003–2006).

A native of the Netherlands, Sterk holds a PhD in sociology from Erasmus University in Rotterdam and a doctoral degree in medical anthropology from the University of Utrecht.


Claire E. Sterk, Ph.D.
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Charles Howard Candler Professor of Public Health
FAX: 404.727.1090

Shondra May
Senior Program Associate