WEST PALM BEACH, FL – University trustees today named Dr. Debra A. Schwinn the University’s ninth president. An accomplished higher education academic leader, innovator, scientist and physician, Dr. Schwinn served as associate vice president for medical affairs, dean of the Carver College of Medicine, and professor of anesthesiology, pharmacology, and biochemistry at the University of Iowa.
“Palm Beach Atlantic University conducted a nationwide search,” said Timothy S. Sotos, chair of the Search Committee and new chair of the Board of Trustees. “Dr. Schwinn impressed the search committee and the board with her understanding and appreciation of PBA’s deep Christian commitment, highly regarded academic reputation, and legacy of growth and innovation. She is an exceptional leader with great interpersonal skills. Creative, energetic and a person with a deep and passionate faith, she enjoys music and ballet and plays the violin. We are excited to welcome Dr. Schwinn and her family to the PBA community.”
Dr. Schwinn states, “It is my firm belief that great Christian liberal arts universities such as Palm Beach Atlantic hold a unique and important place in today’s society. PBA offers students the opportunity to examine and deepen their faith while pursuing a rigorous academic path, arriving at graduation prepared to be servant leaders. I am honored to walk on the journey with our students on the West Palm Beach and Orlando campuses, and around the world.”
Prior to her positions at the University of Iowa, Dr. Schwinn served in senior leadership roles at the University of Washington and Duke University, where she was director of cardiovascular genomics in the Center for Genomic Medicine.
Dr. Schwinn holds a bachelor’s degree from the College of Wooster and earned her medical degree from Stanford University School of Medicine. She is an accomplished educator and researcher and has published many articles and papers. Since 2002, Dr. Schwinn has been a member of the National Academy of Medicine in recognition of her contributions to science and medicine. She is married to Dr. Robert Gerstmyer, a religious scholar and instructor in the Department of Religion at the University of Iowa. They have two adult children.
Dr. Schwinn will begin her term of service as president on May 4, 2020, following the retirement of President William M. B. Fleming Jr. after a highly successful eight-year tenure.
Palm Beach Atlantic University was assisted by CarterBaldwin Executive Search.