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Dushanka V. Kleinman


Dushanka V. Kleinman DDS, MScD leads the School of Public Health’s research development and public health and community engagement activities. As a senior faculty and management team member, she contributes to essential functions in support of faculty, student and staff members, participates in trans-campus projects and mentoring initiatives, and facilitates
collaborations and partnerships across campus, with the University System of Maryland and the broader community.


(301) 405-7201


Areas of Interest


Oral diseases and health, health disparities, health literacy, global health, community health

Dr. Kleinman joined the School of Public Health in 2007, and served on the core accreditation
team leading the School’s initial and subsequent accreditation, and in multiple management
roles during these early phases of the School’s development. She established the School’s
central research administrative structure, created an enhanced research event that evolved
into an annual event in partnership with the School of Medicine University of Maryland
Baltimore, sponsored by MPowering the State, and serves in a senior role overseeing the
School’s Community Advisory Council whose members provide a strong link to public health
practice. She contributes to the campus through her service on the Research Development
Council, and as a past ADVANCE professor and member of the Campus APT Committee. Her
research interests include prevention of oral health inequities, health literacy, strategies to
integrate oral and general health, public health impact studies and community health
improvement initiatives.

Prior to joining UMD, Dr. Kleinman, a licensed dentist and Diplomate of the American Board of
Dental Public Health, completed 28 years of government service where she was the Deputy
Director, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), NIH (1991-2006),
assuming the role of NIDCR Acting Director twice. At NIH she also served as the first assistant
director of the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research (2003-2005), now the NIH Common Fund.

As an officer in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, she retired at the rank of Rear
Admiral, Assistant Surgeon General. In 2006, she completed a five-year term as the 15th Chief
Dental Officer, USPHS, overseeing the events during the 9/11 and anthrax attacks. She was the
co-editor, and coordinated the federal involvement in the development, of the first-ever
Surgeon General's report on oral health (2000), and A National Call to Action to Promote Oral
Health, A Public-Private Partnership Under the Leadership of the Office of the Surgeon General
(2003). She has served in leadership and advisory roles in professional organizations and federal
agencies, most recently as co-chair of the HHS Secretary’s Advisory Committee on National
Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives for 2030 (2016-2019).

Dr. Kleinman has a D.D.S. from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry and a
hospital rotating internship at the University of Chicago Hospitals and Clinics. She received a
M.Sc.D. in dental public health and a Dental Public Health Residency Certificate from the Henry
M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine at Boston University.

M.Sc.D., Dental Public Health and Certificate 1976
Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine, Boston University 

Rotating Dental Internship 1974
University of Chicago Hospitals and Clinics

D.D.S. 1973
College of Dentistry, University of Illinois at Chicago

B.S. (Zoology) 1969
University of Wisconsin, Madison

2013 William J. Gies Award, American College of Dentists

2011 Callahan Medal, Ohio Dental Association

2011 Surgeon General David Satcher Keynote Lecturer, Commissioned Officers Association

2007 American Dental Association Distinguished Service Award

2007 American Association of Dental Research Jack Hein Public Service Award

2007 USPHS Surgeon General’s Medallion

2007 USPHS Surgeon General’s Exemplary Service Medal

2006 Honorary Degree, University of Southern California