The Dean

Lisa A. Tedesco

Lisa A. Tedesco joined Emory University in May 2006 as Vice Provost for Academic Affairs – Graduate Studies and Dean of the James T. Laney School of Graduate Studies. She is a professor of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education in the Rollins School of Public Health.

Dr. Tedesco earned her doctorate in educational psychology from the University at Buffalo, State University of New York.  Prior to joining Emory, she was a professor and associate dean in the School of Dentistry at the University of Michigan and also served as Vice-President and Secretary of the University and as Interim Provost.

LGS Leadership

Under Dean Tedesco's leadership, the Laney Graduate School, with more than 1,800 students in over 40 degree programs, is emphasizing opportunities for interdisciplinary study, professional development and career planning.  New programs range from doctoral degree tracks that train students in both laboratory and population sciences, a master’s program that trains 21st century sustainable development professionals, and certificate programs in translational research and in interdisciplinary studies in mind, brain and culture.  

The Laney Graduate School supports a comprehensive Grant Writing Program preparing students to compete successfully for professional funding and recognition; the New Thinkers/New Leaders Fund for innovative initiatives in graduate education; programming for training in scholarly integrity and the responsible conduct of research; and networking and mentoring programs that connect graduate students to alumni for professional guidance. Priority areas in support of program excellence include improved access to information and program performance data for faculty and continuing commitments to diversity in the graduate student population.

National Service

In 2009, Dr. Tedesco was elected to the Board of Directors of the Council of Graduate Schools and served as Chair of the Board in 2012. She is past chair of the GRE Board (2012–13) and most recently served as a member of the GRE European Advisory Committee (2012–14) and the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee (2011–14). Dr. Tedesco became a member of the AAU Association of Graduate Schools in 2006 and served as its president in 2013–14.  

In 2011, Dr. Tedesco was also appointed to the CGS Commission on Pathways through Graduate School and into Careers to address how graduate programs can enhance student development for professional lives beyond the professoriate.


As a health psychologist, Dr. Tedesco is interested in how people think about and act to prevent illness and promote well-being. Her research has focused on cognitive behavioral enhancement of oral health status, relapse prevention, and stress, coping and oral disease. Her teaching has been in areas related to behavioral sciences and the health professions. Dean Tedesco is a member of the American Dental Education Association and American Association of Dental Schools.

She has written and worked institutionally on matters related to curriculum change, inquiry-based learning and teaching, faculty development, and diversity. Most recently she worked on projects that address institutional organization and program arrangements that promote economic and financial vitality for the teaching, research, and clinical care mission in schools of dental medicine. She has published widely and has presented her work at national and international meetings.