The Dean

Kimberly Jacob Arriola

Kimberly Jacob Arriola first arrived at Emory University in the Fall of 1998 as a student in the Rollins School of Public Health, after earning her doctorate in social psychology from Northeastern University.  

In 2001, she earned her Master of Public Health (MPH) in epidemiology. While still in her MPH program, Arriola was invited to join the faculty in the Department of Behavioral, Social, and Health Education Sciences also at Rollins in a non-tenure track faculty appointment. She subsequently accepted a tenure-track position in the same department following a national search.  In 2010, she was named Director of Graduate Studies for the same department. She was appointed Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Rollins in 2016 and was named Charles Howard Candler Professor and Executive Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in 2018.   

As a faculty member, Arriola was faculty counselor to Emory’s Board of Trustees for three years and received an Emory Williams Distinguished Teaching Award in 2014. In 2016, she was honored with the Thomas F. Sellers Jr. Award, presented to a Rollins faculty member “who exemplifies the ideals of public health and serves as a role model and mentor to colleagues.” 

LGS Leadership

Under Arriola's leadership, the Laney Graduate School (LGS), with more than 1,800 students in more than 40-degree programs, is committed to cultivating a student-centered experience of graduate education.  

To that end, LGS fosters a high-quality educational experience that honors the whole person, including student support for mental health, professional development, and diverse career planning.  LGS provides an interdisciplinary academic experience, a strong sense of community among students across different programs, and advocacy for graduate education both within and beyond the university.  Arriola understands the central role of faculty in delivering high quality graduate education as well as the challenges and successes of serving in this role.  With this understanding, she seeks to support the ability of faculty to be maximally effective in their roles as mentor, instructor, and scholar.  

Diversity and inclusion are foundational to LGS’s mission. Under Arriola’s leadership, LGS remains committed to building a culture of inclusive excellence and pursuing strategic partnerships to diversify our applicant pool, enhance selection and recruitment processes, and support the retention and success of diverse students. 


Arriola’s research, leveraging her expertise in public health and social psychology to understand the social determinants of racial health inequities, focuses on the social and behavioral factors impacting the health of marginalized populations and communities of color. She has led the development, implementation, and evaluation of culturally sensitive interventions to improve public commitment to organ and tissue donation among African Americans, as well as interventions that improve access to transplantation among African American end-stage kidney disease patients.  

Additionally, Arriola has spearheaded the implementation and evaluation of environmental and policy-change interventions that improve access to cancer screening and treatment services among the underserved and underinsured in Southwest Georgia. And, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Arriola received a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to spearhead a project that sought to increase vaccine confidence, also in Southwest Georgia as part of the Emory Prevention Research Center. 

Most recently, Arriola received funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases to implement a multi-level, multi-component intervention that mitigates against the impact of structural racism on access to care among African American patients with chronic kidney disease.  As part of a national consortium of investigators, Arriola leads a team of Emory co-investigators that brings lived experience and professional expertise in medicine, implementation science, and quantitative research methods to the development and evaluation of the intervention. 

National Service

Demonstrating a commitment to service, Arriola chaired the Healthcare and Health Disparities Study Section of the NIH and currently serves as associate editor of the American Journal of Transplantation, a leading journal in her field.  

Arriola is a 2012 graduate of the American Psychological Association Leadership Institute for Women in Psychology, a 2016 graduate of the Society of Behavioral Medicine Leadership Institute, and a 2022 graduate of the Academic Leadership Institute, all in service to developing and refining her leadership skills. 

Arriola has also taken on leadership positions in professional organizations as a member of the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access to Life (IDEAL) Task Force established by the American Society of Transplantation. She was co-chair of the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health Academic Affairs Section and currently serves on the AAU Association of Graduate Schools Executive Committee. 

Last updated January 8, 2024