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Julie Messersmith

Chief of Staff & Associate Vice Provost for Strategic Initiatives

As chief of staff and associate vice provost for strategic initiatives, Julie Messersmith serves as a senior advisor to Provost Jayawardhana, partnering with him, Executive Vice Provost Gange and Executive Vice Provost Rutkow to advance the University’s strategic priorities, elevate educational, research and broader engagement efforts, and enhance partnerships with divisions across Johns Hopkins. She works closely with university leadership to develop and launch university initiatives, including those directly related to the strategic plan, the Ten for One.

Messersmith previously served as the assistant vice provost for research until January 2024. In his role, she oversaw the development, strategic planning, and implementation of institution-wide research programs that increase interdisciplinary collaboration, expand research services and infrastructure, and support the individual excellence of Johns Hopkins researchers. Messersmith directed the Bloomberg Distinguished Professorships program, Research Development Team, and several flagship grant programs, including the Catalyst Awards, Discovery Awards, President’s Frontier Awards and time-bound strategic initiatives such as the COVID-19 Research Response Program and COVID-19 Research Support Program. She developed key research development products and processes such as the university’s limited submissions program and rank-specific funding opportunity lists, which remain open to the public. She also collaboratively developed Hopkins on the Hill with the Federal Strategy team, and launched the Johns Hopkins Wavelengths multimedia initiative in partnership with the Johns Hopkins Press.

Before joining the Provost’s Office in 2015, Messersmith worked in Development & Alumni Relations as the assistant director of foundation relations. In this role, she worked with key faculty to source foundation support for their research and planned significant foundation site visits and presidential meetings with priority organizations such as the Gates, Moore, and Packard Foundations. She previously worked for Vail Resorts Management Company in Colorado and Clairmont Camera Film & Digital, a motion picture camera rental house in California.

Messersmith earned a bachelor’s degree in International Studies from Pepperdine University, a master’s degree in International Studies (International Development, Conflict Resolution & International Security) from the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School, and a master of Liberal Arts degree from Johns Hopkins University.

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