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.

Governance Structure

Dean Villarruel’s leadership team consists of three Associate Deans: Academic Programs; Research and Innovation; and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, as well as two Chairs of the Departments of Family and Community Health and Biobehavioral Health Sciences; two Vice Deans: Administration and Finance, and Development and Alumni Relations; and an Assistant Dean of Global Health.

The Dean

Penn Nursing Dean Antonia Villarruel Antonia M. Villarruel, PhD, RN, FAAN

Dr. Villarruel, 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—experience she has called on to establish Penn Nursing as a stellar example to nursing educators, researchers, and the nursing community at-large for how to do the critical work of addressing health equity.

Dr. Villarruel currently co-leads the NIH funded Philadelphia Community Engagement Alliance to address COVID-19 Inequities (CEAL) and is Co-Investigator of the NIH and National Institutes of Aging study “Tiempo Juntos para la Salud.” Her experience and accomplishments have led her to hold a variety of leadership positions. Select current positions include service as a Regent of the Uniformed Health Services University, Chair of the AARP/RWJ Campaign for Action Advisory Board, and the National Academy of Medicine Culture of Health program. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, among others.

Dr. Villarruel received The Ohtli Award—the highest honor given by Mexico’s government to individuals and organizations that support the Mexican diaspora—in 2020, as well as the Health Care Leader Award from the American Academy of Nursing, the Sigma Theta Tau International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame Award, and the Globy Award for Educational Leadership from the Global Philadelphia Association.

Associate Dean for Academic Programs

Julie A. Sochalski, PhD, RN, FAAN

Dr. Sochalski, 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.

Associate Dean for Research and Innovation

George Demiris, PhD, FACMI

Dr. Demiris, is the Mary Alice Bennett University Professor and a PIK (Penn Integrates Knowledge) Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. He explores innovative ways to utilize technology and support older adults and their families in various settings, including home and hospice care. He is a Member of the National Academy of Medicine, a Fellow of the American College of Medical Informatics, the Gerontological Society of America and the International Academy of Health Sciences Informatics.

Department Chair of Family & Community Health

José Bauermeister, PhD, MPH

Dr. Bauermeister, 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 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

Nancy Hodgson, PhD, RN, FAAN

The Department of Biobehavioral Health Sciences, led by Dr. Hodgson, 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

Pat Guinan

Pat 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, Pat will provide strategic direction and deployment of the School’s financial and resource infrastructure.

Vice Dean of Development and Alumni Relations

Patrick Daley Patrick Daley

Patrick Daley, SPP’15, leads the strategy and execution for the team to inspire philanthropic commitments that fund Dean Villarruel’s vision. Patrick’s team also builds the alumni relations programs to foster lifelong connections to Penn Nursing and provide meaningful channels to engage alumni with students, faculty as well as fellow alumni.

Assistant Dean for Global Health Affairs

Nancy Biller

Nancy works to establish and implement goals to fulfill the School of Nursing’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. Learn more about Global Health.

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.