Mario Molina KGI 2

J. Mario Molina Named Founding Dean of the KGI School of Community Medicine

Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) has appointed Dr. J. Mario Molina as the founding dean of the KGI School of Community Medicine.

Molina served for 20 years as the Chief Executive Officer of Molina Healthcare, a Fortune 500 company founded by his father in 1980 to provide healthcare to low-income individuals.

Molina’s vision for the KGI School of Community Medicine is to change the approach to healthcare education. The KGI School of Community Medicine will focus on the intersection of multicultural competency, population health research, and commercial innovation, as it prepares physicians with training and tools to improve the health status of communities where they practice.

“Dean Molina is highly regarded by his colleagues for his vision, passion, expertise, and leadership,” KGI President Sheldon Schuster said. “He has an immense amount of experience in serving Southern California communities and we are confident in his ability to develop an innovative medical school for the 21st century.”

KGI Board Chairman Jim Widergren added: “I anticipate that Dean Molina will serve as a great role model for the future students of the KGI School of Community Medicine while building upon the innovative and collaborative culture that currently exists on campus between the Henry E. Riggs School of Applied Life Sciences and the School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.”

Through community partnerships, KGI School of Community Medicine students will acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to work effectively in the highly diverse communities within Southern California. The aim of the school will be to effect systemic healthcare change—first within the San Gabriel Valley and Inland Empire areas, and then statewide and nationally.

“I am humbled by the opportunity to launch the new medical school at the Keck Graduate Institute and to contribute to advancing patient care and medical education,” Molina said. “As I reflect on my professional journey in the U.S. healthcare system, the experiences I have gained confirm both the need and the timely imperative at KGI to transform medical education by providing students with the academic, technology, and self-awareness tools to become compassionate physicians and to advocate for the good health of the communities they serve. I look forward to working with leaders across the campus and to contribute to this great cause.”

Molina received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from California State University, Long Beach in 1980 and then earned his medical degree from the University of Southern California in 1984. He performed his residency in internal medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital and followed that with a fellowship in endocrinology at the University of California, San Diego.

Prior to joining Molina Healthcare, Molina was a faculty member at USC. He also received a certificate in management from the Anderson School of Business at UCLA.

In 2005, Molina was recognized as one of Time Magazine’s most influential Hispanics in America. In 2013, Claremont Graduate University – also a member of The Claremont Colleges – awarded Molina with an honorary doctorate.

Modern Healthcare listed Molina among the 100 most influential people in healthcare. He served on the inaugural board of the Financial Solvency Standards Board of the California Department of Managed Healthcare. Molina also served as a director of Apollo Medical Holdings, Inc., the Aquarium of the Pacific, a member of the Board of Governors of the Huntington Library, and Curator of the Osler Library at McGill University.

He is a trustee of Johns Hopkins Medicine and served on the Visiting Committee for the Harvard Medical School. He is also a member of the Founders’ Council of the United States of Care.

Medical education programs leading to the MD degree in the United States and Canada are accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME). With Molina now on board as the founding dean, KGI is following the steps necessary to apply for LCME applicant status.


Listen to Dr. J. Mario Molina’s interview with KGI President Sheldon Schuster on episode No. 86 of the KGI Podcast: