Ph.D., 2008, Georgia State University, Educational Policy Studies
M.S., 1997, Georgia State University, Exercise Science
B.A., 1995, St. Andrews Presbyterian College, Biology and Physical Education
Childhood obesity, physical activity, school and community health, health policy
Rodney Lyn was appointed Dean of the Georgia State University School of Public Health in May 2021. He joined Georgia State in 2004 and has been on the public health faculty since 2007, currently holding an appointment as Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Lyn previously served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs (2012-2018), Senior Associate Dean for Academic and Strategic Initiatives (2018-2021), and Interim Dean (2019-2021). During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Lyn co-led the university’s campus-wide response across testing, case investigation, vaccinations, and data management and reporting. Since assuming the role of Dean, he has increased alumni and donor engagement, strengthened research and administrative infrastructure, and led the development of an ambitious strategic plan, Vision 2027.
Dr. Lyn’s research interests center around chronic disease prevention, including physical activity, healthy eating, obesity, and cancer, and with special focus on health equity and health disparities. He has published extensively in the scholarly literature on these topics. Dr. Lyn brings expertise in community-based research, social and behavioral sciences, and policy, system, and environmental change approaches for chronic disease prevention and health promotion. He has an active research program, having led or contributed to funded grants totaling over $16M from federal and state agencies and foundations. His recent projects include Community Health Workers for COVID-19 Response and Resilience – a CDC funded partnership with Fulton County’s Health Department; Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health – a CDC supported partnership with Morehouse School of Medicine to address food deserts in Atlanta; the Georgia Childhood Obesity Prevention Program – a multi-county initiative to support and accelerate local policy and environmental interventions for obesity prevention, with funding from Healthcare Georgia Foundation; and a study examining mortality disparities and resilience in low-income, minority communities in the South funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. He currently serves as Co-Principal Investigator for the Prevention Research Center at Georgia State, established in 2019 with support from the CDC. The center is focused on refugee health, eliminating inequities, and addressing social determinants in Clarkston, Georgia – called the most diverse square mile in the U.S. Dr. Lyn previously served as Deputy Director for the NIH-supported GSU Center of Excellence on Health Disparities Research, providing direction and oversight for research, fiscal, and programmatic activities, including a two-year Health Disparities Fellowship program for graduate students.
Dr. Lyn advises and works closely with state and federal agencies, professional associations, not-for-profits and the philanthropic community on a broad range of public health issues. He serves as an Editor for Public Health Reports, the official journal of the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General, and on the Editorial Board for the American Journal of Health Promotion. He is a Strategy Advisor to the California Breast Cancer Research Program, the largest state-funded breast cancer research effort in the nation, funded through the California tobacco tax and other state taxes and contributions. From 2014 – 2021, Dr. Lyn served on the Board of Directors for Voices for Georgia’s Children, including service as Vice-Chair and as chair of the Policy and Advocacy Committee. He is an active member of the American Public Health Association.