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Penn Medicine's Susan Taylor was elected as the 84th president of the American Academy of Dermatology (Photo from Penn Medicine).

Susan Taylor, Professor of Dermatology and vice chair of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the Perelman School of Medicine, has been elected as the 84th president of the American Academy of Dermatology.

ADD is the largest society of dermatologists in the world. Taylor is the sixth woman and the first person of African American descent to serve as president of the organization.

Prior to joining Penn as a faculty member, Taylor graduated from the College of Arts and Sciences in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in biology, and received her medical degree at Harvard Medical School in 1983. She served as the vice president of AAD from 2020 to 2021. 

“It is an honor to be elected to this position by my peers … I look forward to using the role to promote the AAD strategic goal of excellence in care through education and advocacy,” Taylor told Penn Medicine.

Taylor is an expert in alopecia pigmentary disorders and has authored over 100 peer-reviewed articles. According to Penn Medicine, Taylor has also researched health equity and published books focused on treating patients of color, such as Dermatology for Skin of Color and Brown Skin.

In addition, Taylor also founded the Skin Color Society in 2004 to help increase representation in the medical field. She is also the founder and director of the Skin of Color pre-residency fellowship in the Department of Dermatology at Penn, a year-long program for Penn Medicine students accompanied by a $35,000 stipend.

“[Taylor] will not only bring passion and years of experience to her [new] role but also add an important dimension, as she has in her role at Penn as the department’s vice chair of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion,” George Cotsarelis, Chair of Dermatology at Penn, told Penn Medicine. “She understands how to make important and effective systemic changes in order to ensure access and care for all people.”