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Sara "Sally" Bachman has been named Dean of the School of Social Policy & Practice. (Photo from Ron Ozio)

Boston University's Sara “Sally” Bachman will serve as the new dean of the School of Social Policy and Practice at Penn, Penn President Amy Gutmann and Provost Wendell Pritchett announced Wednesday. 

Bachman will replace John L. Jackson, Jr., who was appointed dean of the Annenberg School For Communication last spring. Bachman's and Jackson's appointments will both become effective on Jan. 1, 2019. 

John L. Jackson (File Photo)

In April, Penn formed a Consultative Committee, consisting of faculty, administrators, and students, to advise the University as it searched for the next selection of Jackson’s successor. SP2 and PennDesign professor Amy Hillier, who sat on the committee, wrote in an email that its work was completed in June. 

At Boston University, Bachman serves as the inaugural director of the Center for Innovation in Social Work and Health, which aims to work with cross-sector collaboration to promote social work and social justice in health-related fields, the press release read. She also holds the positions of the Paul Farmer Professor in the School of Social Work and of a research professor in the School of Public Health at BU. 

The press release also stated that in her role as director for the Center for Innovation in Social Work and Health, she coordinated faculty and experts from various disciplines to reduce health costs, improve outcomes, enhance the patient experience, promote population health, and stimulate health equity. 

The BU website reports that she has worked in health policy research and program evaluation for 20 years, particularly in the area of state health policy for those with disabilities. She earned a bachelor's degree in biology from Bucknell University, a master’s degree in epidemiology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and a PhD from Brandeis University's Florence Heller School, where she served as a Pew Health Policy Fellow. 

“Sally Bachman is an acclaimed scholar, teacher and academic leader,” Gutmann wrote in a statement, adding that Bachman is committed to interdisciplinary efforts and community partnerships to promote “social work, social policy, social change and social justice.” 

“I am grateful for the exciting opportunity to serve as the next dean of Penn’s School of Social Policy and Practice,” Bachman wrote in the statement. “Together, we will leverage our shared passions, skills and knowledge in the pursuit of social innovation, impact and justice.”