Eve J. Higginbotham, SM, MD is the Vice Dean for Inclusion and Diversity at Penn's Perelman School of Medicine. 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. Prior to joining Penn in August 2013, Dr. Higginbotham served as a Visiting Scholar for Health Equity at the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) in Washington, DC. Previous leadership roles include Senior Vice President and Executive Dean for Health Sciences at Howard University and Dean and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta. She was also the first woman to head an ophthalmology department at an academic medical center in the United States, serving as chair of the Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences Department at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. Prior to joining the University of Maryland, Dr. Higginbotham served as Assistant Dean for Faculty Affairs at the University of Michigan.
During her career, she has also held several leadership positions in professional organizations, including President of the Harvard Medical School Alumni Council, President of the Baltimore City Medical Society, President of the Maryland Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons, Vice President for Women in Ophthalmology, and member of the Board of Trustees of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). As a member of the Harvard University Board of Overseers 2008-14, Dr. Higginbotham served on a number of committees, including the Visiting Committee for Harvard Medical School, Natural and Applied Sciences, Finance, Administration, and Management, and Alumni Affairs and Development. In 2011, she joined the MIT Corporation, where she served on the visiting committees on chemistry, political science, and the health sciences and technology program. She continues to serve as a member of the Visiting Committee of the Institute of Medical Engineering and Science (IMES) at MIT. Dr. Higginbotham is currently President of the AOA Medical Honor Society, a Board member of Ascension and a member of its Executive Committee, and a member of the Defense Health Board, which advises the Secretary of Health Affairs of the Department of Defense.
Among her numerous honors, she received the Senior Achievement Award (2002) and a Life Achievement Award (2015) from the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the Women of Achievement Award in 2011 from the Young Women's Christian Association, a group dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.
Dr. Higginbotham has authored more than 150 peer-reviewed articles and co-edited four ophthalmology textbooks and continues to remain active in health policy and patient care at the University of Pennsylvania.
A board-certified ophthalmologist, she received her S.B. and S.M. degrees in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1975. She earned her medical degree from Harvard Medical School in 1979, completed her residency in ophthalmology at the Louisiana State University Eye Center and fellowship training in the subspecialty of glaucoma at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston. She completed the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine program sponsored by Drexel University in 2000.