Dr. Marie Lynn Miranda became the Howard R. Hughes Provost and Professor of Statistics for Rice University in July, 2015 and served until June 2019.
Miranda is a Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude graduate of Duke University, where she earned her A.B. in mathematics and economics and was named a Truman Scholar. She has a Ph.D. and M.A., both in economics, from Harvard University, where she held a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. She served on the faculty at Duke from 1990-2011, and then as dean of the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan for four years.
Dr. Miranda specializes in research on environmental health, especially how the environment shapes health and wellbeing among children. She is the founding director of the Children’s Environmental Health Initiative, a research, education, and outreach program committed to fostering environments where all people can prosper. Dr. Miranda's formal educational background is rooted in mathematical, statistical, and economic modeling; her professional experiences integrate environmental health sciences with sound social policies. She has taught courses and conducted research on children's environmental health, with a particular emphasis on reproductive and developmental toxicants, childhood lead exposure, and allergen and asthma triggers. She is a leader in the rapidly evolving field of geospatial health informatics.
Miranda teamed with Vice President for Administration Kevin Kirby and the Crisis Management Team to guide the university during Hurricane Harvey in August 2017. After the storm, Miranda played a key role in establishing the Hurricane Harvey Registry, which surveys survivors to help design intervention programs and help officials refine their responses to future disasters, a goal in line with Rice’s Vision for the Second Century, Second Decade.
Dr. Miranda has applied spatial analytic approaches to a wide range of scientific issues. She also has extensive experience running training, research translation, and outreach programs, especially as they relate to disadvantaged populations. Dr. Miranda maintains an active research portfolio, with a funding history that includes the USEPA, NIH, CDC, the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors, the USDA, the State of North Carolina, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Wallace Genetics Foundation, the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, and The Duke Endowment. She maintains a deep and abiding interest in environmental and social justice. Her research group received the 2008 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Justice Award.
Dr. Miranda served as Provost under President David Leebron.