Eve J. Higginbotham, SM, MD, ML
Vice Dean, Inclusion and Diversity
Dr. Eve Higginbotham is the inaugural Vice Dean for Inclusion and Diversity of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, a position she assumed on August 1, 2013. She is also a Senior Fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute for Health Economics and Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Pennsylvania. She has been a member of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) since 2000 and is now an elected member of the NAM Council, upon which she chairs the Finance Committee. Dr. Higginbotham is also a member of the Governing Board of the National Research Council and Past President of the AΩA Medical Honor Society. Notable prior leadership positions in academia include Dean of the Morehouse School of Medicine, Senior Vice President for Health Sciences at Howard University, and Professor and Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Maryland in Baltimore, a position she held for 12 years.
A graduate of MIT with undergraduate and graduate degrees in chemical engineering (Course X, S.B, and S.M.) and Harvard Medical School, Dr. Higginbotham completed her residency in ophthalmology at the LSU Eye Center and fellowship training in the subspecialty of glaucoma at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston. In 2020, she completed a Masters of Law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School.
Dr. Higginbotham currently serves on the Board of Directors of Ascension, a member of the Finance and Audit Committees, and she chairs the Quality Committee for the system. Ascension is the second largest private health system in the United States, with hospitals and clinical sites in 20 states. Moreover, she is a member of the Board of the AΩA Honor Medical Society, where she leads the Leadership Development Committee and is a member of the Audit Committee. Dr. Higginbotham also serves as an Associate Editor on the Editorial Board of the American Journal of Ophthalmology. She is a Vice Chair of the NEI-supported Ocular Hypertension Treatment Study, a randomized clinical trial, which was funded for a 20-year follow-up study of this unique cohort of patients. She is currently a member of the Association of Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Glaucoma Society, American Clinical and Climatological Association, American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Harvard-MIT Health Sciences and Technology Advisory Board, the Visiting Committees of the Institute of Medical Engineering and Science and Undergraduate and Graduate Education at MIT.
Dr. Higginbotham is a former member of the Board of Overseers at Harvard University, former member of the MIT Corporation, and a former chair of the FDA Ophthalmic Devices Panel. She is also a former member of the Defense Health Board, a Federal Advisory Committee to the Secretary of Defense. As a member of this Federal Advisory Board, she led the review of the Deployment Health Centers in 2017 and was a member of the subcommittees that produced the following reports: Pediatric Health Care Services Report, Sustainment and Advancement of Amputee Care, Implications of Trends in Obesity and Overweight for the DOD – Fit to Fight, Fit for Life. She is the past president of the following organizations: the Maryland Society Eye Physicians, the Baltimore City Medical Society, and the Harvard Medical School Alumni Council. She formerly chaired her section of the National Academy of Medicine and is a former member of the NAM membership committee.
Dr. Higginbotham, a practicing glaucoma specialist at the University of Pennsylvania, has either authored or co- authored over 150 peer-reviewed articles and co-edited four ophthalmology textbooks. She continues to remain active in scholarship related to glaucoma, health policy, STEM, and patient care.
Broadening the Penn Medicine Community: A Profile on Vice Dean Eve Higginbotham and the Office of Inclusion and Diversity
February 14, 2017, Francesca Tuazon
Launched in August 2013, the Office of Inclusion and Diversity is a relatively new addition to Penn Medicine that supports, evaluates, and generates programs that promote diversity within our research community. Prior to the generation of this office, initiatives and programs to broaden access in the medical school and biomedical graduate studies, from graduate students to faculty, were handled by separate entities. There was a need for an executive-level office to direct a more cohesive and coordinated effort. The Office of Inclusion and Diversity (OID) is a product Penn Medicine’s five-year Strategic Plan, “Shaping the Future of Medicine,” which incorporates goals set by President Gutmann’s Action Plan for Faculty Diversity and Excellence. Overall, the OID represents an administrative commitment to fostering innovation at Penn through inclusion and diversity.
Eve J. Higginbotham, SM, MD is the Vice Dean for Inclusion and Diversity at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also a Senior Fellow of the Leonard Davis Institute and Professor of Ophthalmology, as she continues to roles as clinical researcher and glaucoma specialist.