About Dean Ogbolu

Yolanda Ogbolu, PhD, NNP, FNAP, FAAN

The Bill and Joanne Conway Dean of the University of Maryland School of Nursing and Professor‌

Dean Ogbolu Headshot

Dr. Yolanda Ogbolu was appointed the Bill and Joanne Conway Dean of the University of Maryland School of Nursing in July 2023. Dean Ogbolu is a tenured professor and is the first alumna to serve as the School of Nursing’s dean. 

She served as chair of the School of Nursing’s Department of Partnerships, Professional Education, and Practice beginning in 2019 and as co-director of the School’s Center for Health Equity and Outcomes Research as of 2021. After 21 years in clinical practice as a board-certified neonatal nurse practitioner, she was appointed to the UMSON faculty in 2010 as deputy director of the School’s Office of Global Health and became its director in 2015.

Dean Ogbolu’s interprofessional and community-engaged research and scholarship, teaching, and professional activities have focused on addressing health inequities and disparities in care locally and globally. Her projects have centered on strengthening nurses’ capacity to impact global health, improving the provision of culturally and linguistically appropriate care in rural and urban hospitals, and addressing social isolation and social determinants of health in marginalized communities. Her international efforts have sought to improve nursing practice in low-resource communities in Nigeria, Rwanda, and Liberia, and later to apply lessons learned from communities in Brazil to issues of social isolation in West Baltimore.

She has garnered more than $12 million in funding, as principal investigator and co-investigator, from diverse state and federal agencies and foundations. She has received funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) for three global learning for health equity projects, one translating a social inclusion program from Brazil to Baltimore to reduce family social isolation in West Baltimore and the other building on this work to lead the development of a national global learning network to advance health equity by catalyzing communities across the United States.

She is highly regarded for her collaborative spirit and currently leads the West Baltimore RICH (Reducing Isolation and Inequities in Cardiovascular Health) Collaborative, under a $2.4 million Pathways for Health Equity grant from the Maryland Community Health Resources Commission. This project includes a network of 15 community and faith-based organizations, academic institutions, and health care organizations working together to address hypertension and social isolation in West Baltimore. 

Dean Ogbolu has served nationally working on projects with the American Association of Nursing, the National Quality Forum, the National League of Nursing, and the Surgeon General’s Office. She has consulted internationally with the World Health Organization.

Engaged in local policy advocacy, Dean Ogbolu serves as the chair of the Social Determinants of Health Taskforce of Baltimore City, a novel policy intervention and the first legislatively mandated such committee in the nation. She has also served on taskforces to reduce disparities in newborn outcomes and to improve delivery of culturally and linguistically appropriate care. 

She has received numerous honors and awards, including as a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, a fellow of the National Academies of Practice, and a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar. She also has received the Harriet Tubman Legacy in Maternal Child Health Nursing Award from the Minority Nurses Association of Maryland and a Governor’s Citation Award from former Gov. Martin O’Malley.

 She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from the University of Maryland School of Nursing. She is a native of West Baltimore, a wife, and the mother of four.

Download a PDF copy of Dean Ogbolu's Bio