Marie Lynn Miranda began her tenure as Charles and Jill Fischer Provost of the University of Notre Dame on July 1, 2020, the fifth provost at Notre Dame since the position was established in 1970. The University’s second-ranking officer, the provost is elected by the Board of Trustees and, at the direction of the president, exercises overall responsibility for the academic enterprise.
A distinguished scholar in the field of children’s environmental health, Miranda is especially well-known for her research on childhood lead exposure. She served as provost at Rice University from 2015–19 and as dean of the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment for the four years prior to that.
“As the first American-born member of an immigrant family, I have benefited tremendously from the transformative power of education,” Miranda said when her appointment as Charles and Jill Fischer Provost was announced. “I am grateful on a daily basis for the opportunity that Notre Dame made available to my father, and consequently to my entire family, when he was invited to undertake graduate studies at the University many years ago. I am both deeply honored and excited to serve the Notre Dame community.”
Miranda has played a key role in Notre Dame’s COVID-19 response, shaping policies and protocols that allowed the University to resume in-person classes for the 2020-2021 academic year and maintain a safe environment for students, faculty, staff, and the South Bend community. She also serves as lead scientist for the Indiana COVID-19 Registry, a program of the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CTSI) research partnership between Indiana University, Purdue University, and the University of Notre Dame. The registry, a complement to state and county dashboards, measures economic and health impacts, anticipates health care needs, assesses behavior change in response to policy changes, and identifies popular and effective sources of information.
A long-time proponent of diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, Miranda has championed Notre Dame initiatives to further increase the diversity of the University’s faculty and academic staff, as well as its student body. In addition, she testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation in April 2021 about how attracting more women and underrepresented minorities to STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine) fields can help ensure America’s national security and global competitiveness for the future.
Beyond her responsibilities as provost, Miranda is a professor of applied and computational mathematics and statistics at Notre Dame, maintaining an active research portfolio. She is a leader in the rapidly evolving field of geospatial health informatics and is the founding director of the Children’s Environmental Health Initiative (CEHI), a research, education, and outreach program committed to fostering environments where all people can prosper. Her interest in the joint effects of social and environmental exposures has led her to study the impact on health of racial residential segregation in particular.
Miranda’s research has generated more than $60 million in funding from federal, state and foundation sources, including the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors, the United States Department of Agriculture, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Environmental Defense Fund, among others. Her research group at CEHI was among the inaugural winners of the EPA’s Environmental Justice Achievement Award in 2008.
Miranda spent the first 21 years of her academic career on the faculty at Duke University, her alma mater, during which time she won the university’s top teaching award and founded CEHI.
An elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of Sigma Xi, she is an adjunct professor of pediatrics at Duke as well as Indiana University. She sits on the boards of the Environmental Defense Fund and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and has provided extensive service to the NIH.
Miranda graduated Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude from Duke with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics and was named a Truman Scholar. She received her master’s and doctorate from Harvard University, where she held a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Her father, Constancio Miranda, earned his master’s in civil engineering from Notre Dame in 1962.
Miranda and her husband, Chris Geron, have three children.