Mei R. Fu, an internationally recognized nurse scientist, researcher and educator, has been named dean of the George Washington University’s School of Nursing. She will begin the role Jan. 3, 2023.
Fu comes to GW from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey School of Nursing-Camden, where she is responsible for strengthening research and educational opportunities and developing the school’s strategy and path for excellence and growth.
“Dr. Fu’s wealth of experience in securing funding for impactful research, developing clinical partnerships, supporting faculty and assisting students in advancing their scholarly and career goals, along with her collaborative leadership style, make her an excellent fit to lead the School of Nursing in its second decade,” said Provost Christopher Alan Bracey. “She is energetic and passionate about joining with partners in order to support cutting-edge nursing research and prepare the next generation of nurses to become experts and leaders, and she will build upon the school’s already considerable strengths.”
Fu was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing in 2012 and served as the leading co-chair for the Genomic Expert Panel for the academy from 2016 to 2019. She was inducted into the International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame, Sigma Theta Tau International, in 2017. She has received numerous prestigious awards in her field for her leadership, research and mentorship, including from the Oncology Nursing Foundation.
Prior to joining Rutgers, Fu held the inaugural Barry Family and Goldman Sachs Endowed Chair of Professorship in Nursing at Boston College Connell School of Nursing and faculty positions at New York University.
“I am honored to have this opportunity to serve as dean of the GW School of Nursing,” Fu said. “I am looking forward to working with the brilliant students, faculty, staff and alumni of the school who are committed to excellence in patient care, health equity and high-quality teaching and research. Together, we will continue a path of success to advance GW Nursing and further expand the positive impact we have in the communities we serve locally, nationally and internationally.”
As a long-time educator and widely published researcher, Fu has focused her research on cancer-related symptoms, pain, chronic illnesses, quality of life and social determinants of health. She has received and managed grants from prominent organizations including the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation and Oncology Nursing Foundation. She has more than 150 high-quality publications in peer-reviewed journals, professional journals, book chapters and scholarly professional publications. She has more than 160 invited or peer-reviewed keynote, podium and poster presentations at international, national, regional and local conferences. She has worked across disciplines with researchers, clinicians, educators and policymakers and held leadership positions in inter-professional organizations such as the Lymphology Association of North America to advance lymphedema and pain research and patient care.
Deeply committed to strengthening diversity, equity and inclusion, Fu has advanced DEI and health equity for Black, Asian and Hispanic populations. At Rutgers, a minority serving institution, she led efforts to create more fellowship opportunities for nursing students, including a donor-supported undergraduate research program.
After obtaining bachelor’s and master’s degrees in China, Fu earned a bachelor of science in nursing, a master of science and doctorate in nursing science, all from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She also had several postdoctoral trainings at the National Institutes of Health.
Fu will take the helm of a school on an upward trajectory. GW Nursing has grown its enrollment, faculty lines, degree programs and research funding over the past several years. Its undergraduate nursing program recently rose nine spots, from 31 to 22, in U.S. New & World Report’s best undergraduate nursing program list for 2022-23. The school’s master’s and doctoral programs also rank highly.
The search for a permanent School of Nursing dean was led by a search committee comprising faculty, trustees, staff, students and an alumna.
“The search committee was extremely impressed with Dr. Fu, whose knowledge, experience and vision will enable the School of Nursing to continue to make an impact on health care and health equity through research, policy and education,” said Christine Pintz, professor of nursing and chair of the search committee.
Pamela Slaven-Lee, senior associate dean for academic affairs and clinical associate professor, has served as interim dean of the School of Nursing since 2021. She will continue to serve in the role until January.
“Dr. Slaven-Lee has been a valuable member of the provost senior leadership team and a strong and steady leader of the School of Nursing, working hard on behalf of all students, faculty and staff and helping the school continue to advance its mission,” Bracey said.