Dean Mary M. McKay Begins Brown School Tenure


​Mary M. McKay, a scholar and leader whose work unites social work, public health and public policy, assumed the deanship of the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis on July 1, 2016. Dean McKay succeeds Edward F. Lawlor, who led the Brown School from 2004 to 2016.

Dean McKay was formerly the McSilver Professor of Poverty Studies and inaugural director of the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research at New York University’s Silver School of Social Work. The Institute studies the root causes of poverty, develops evidence-based interventions and translates research findings into action. Her extensive body of work—more than 150 peer-reviewed articles—focuses on child mental health services, child- and family-focused HIV prevention and care, and social service delivery to poverty-impacted youth and families.

“The Brown School and the university are gaining one of the leading scholars in the fields of social work and public health, as well as an outstanding leader, who I have no doubt will bring great enthusiasm to the role and inspire our students and faculty to continue to reach great heights,” said Washington University Provost Holden Thorp.

“It is a tremendous honor and privilege to begin my deanship of the Brown School,” Dean McKay stated.  “Dean Lawlor set the bar high, and I am committed to capitalizing on his tremendous accomplishments and continuing to increase the impact of our faculty, students, alumni and administrators.”

“The Brown School is in the unique position of having the talent and resources to address immense health disparities, income inequality and structural racism,” she continued. “By working collaboratively, we—as faculty, staff, students, community organizations, service providers, policy makers, and public and elected officials—can and will improve lives and move towards a more just and equitable world.”