Antonia M. Villarruel, PhD, RN, FAAN 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 nurse researcher, Dr. Villarruel has extensive research and practice experience with diverse Latino and Mexican populations and communities, health promotion and health disparities research and practice. She incorporates a community-based participatory approach to her research. Specifically, her research focuses on the development and testing of interventions to reduce sexual risk behaviors among Mexican and Latino youth. She has been the PI and Co-PI of seven randomized clinical trials concerned with reducing sexual and other risk behaviors. As part of this program of research, she developed an efficacious program to reduce sexual risk behavior among Latino youth – entitled Cuídate!. This program is disseminated nationally by the CDC.
In addition to her research, Dr. Villarruel has assumed leadership in many national and local organizations. Dr. Villarruel currently Chairs the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Health Policy Fellowship Program, co-Chairs the Strategic Advisory Committee of the AARP/RWJ Center for Health Policy Future of Nursing Campaign for Action and is the former chair of the National Academy of Sciences Roundtable on the Promotion of Health Equity. She has received numerous honors and awards including International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame from Sigma Theta Tau International, membership in the American Board of Internal Medicine, selection as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing, the Global Philadelphia Association’s Globy Award for Educational Leadership and is an elected Fellow of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia.
Dr. Villarruel earned her BSN from Nazareth College, an MSN from the University of Pennsylvania, and her PhD in nursing from Wayne State University.