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Our Leadership

Antonia M. Villarruel, PhD, RN, FAAN, the Margaret Bond Simon Dean of Nursing, leads the School with counsel from our Board of Advisors. As one of the 12 schools at the University of Pennsylvania, we are supported in our efforts by Penn’s Office of the President and the University’s Board of Trustees.

Penn Nursing Dean Antonia VillarruelPenn Nursing Dean Antonia VillarruelGovernance Structure

Dean Villarruel’s leadership team consists of three Associate Deans for Academic Programs, Research and Innovation, and Practice; two Chairs of the Departments of Family and Community Health and Biobehavioral Health Sciences; two Vice Deans for Administration and Finance, and Institutional Advancement; and three Assistant Deans for Diversity and Inclusivity, Global Health, and Community Engagement.

The Dean

Antonia M. Villarruel, PhD, RN, FAAN, is the Margaret Bond Simon Dean of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and Director of the School’s WHO Collaborating Center for Nursing and Midwifery Leadership. As a bilingual and bicultural researcher, Dr. Villarruel has extensive research and practice experience with Latino populations, health promotion, and disparities. She currently co-leads the NIH funded Philadelphia Community Engagement Alliance to address COVID-19 Inequities (CEAL) a coalition to optimize the rollout and real-time evaluation of interventions focused on COVID-19 disparities across diverse populations within the Philadelphia region.

Dr. Villarruel holds many leadership positions. She is an elected Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and the College of Physicians of Philadelphia; she serves as Chair of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) Culture of Health Program Advisory Committee, Chair of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellows Subcommittee for the Selection Review Process and Co-chair of the Strategic Advisory Council of the AARP/RWJ Future of Nursing Campaign for Action.

She has received numerous honors and awards including the 2021 Health Care Leader Award from the American Academy of Nursing, the Sigma Theta Tau International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame Award, the Globy Award for Educational Leadership from the Global Philadelphia Association, and the prestigious Ohtli Award from the government of Mexico.

Associate Dean for Academic Programs

Julie A. Sochalski, PhD, RN, FAAN, Class of 1965 25th Reunion Term Associate Professor of Nursing, works to guide the School’s academic programs, including policy making and the development of quality assessments, and is accountable for cost-effective operations.

Department Chair of Family & Community Health

José Bauermeister, PhD, MPH, Presidential Professor of Nursing, is Chair of the Department of Family and Community Health. As Chair, he provides effective leadership and support to the Department, identifies and implements Department goals to support of the School’s mission, and contributes to the School’s strategic goals alongside other members of the Dean’s leadership group.

Department Chair of Biobehavioral Health Sciences

The Department of Biobehavioral Health Sciences, led by Nancy Hodgson, PhD, RN, FAAN, Anthony Buividas Endowed Term Chair of Gerontology, leads the Department of Biobehavioral Health Sciences in its mission to enhance patient care and the health of the public by applying expertise in physical, psychosocial, and behavioral health from multiple perspectives, including biological, sociocultural, political, and historical realms.

Vice Dean for Administration and Finance

Patrick Guinan has served on various school and University committees (Penn’s Executive Vice President’s Office) and has a proven track record of leadership and financial skills used in roles of varying responsibility since 2008. As Vice Dean for Administration and Finance, Patrick will provide strategic direction and deployment of the School’s financial and resource infrastructure.

Assistant Dean for Global Health Affairs

Nancy Biller works to establish and implement goals to fulfill the School’s commitment to global understanding, engagement, and healthcare.  She identifies and promotes opportunities for students, faculty, and staff to expand their global experience in local and international contexts, through scholarly pursuits, extracurricular activities, service, and practice, contributing to their global leadership skills and ability to meet the health needs of individuals and communities in our multicultural world. 


Research Centers

Our nurse scientists work through school-supported and grant-funded research centers where they pursue a variety of research programs such as transitional care, healthcare policy, nursing history, and global women’s health.  In addition, we have three distinct collaboratives around biobehavioral causes of disease, health equity and aging.