Dr. Rachael Taitano Leon Guerrero appointed Dean of CNAS
University of Guam President Anita Borja Enriquez has appointed Dr. Rachael Taitano Leon Guerrero as the Dean of the College of Natural and Applied Sciences (CNAS) effective November 1, 2023, following a nationwide search. Dr. Leon Guerrero has served as the Vice Provost, Office of Research & Sponsored Programs since January 2019.
She becomes the first woman to serve as Dean of CNAS.
As Vice Provost, Leon Guerrero helped to establish UOG’s growing reputation as a research institution centered on island wisdom. In academic year 2021-2022, UOG ranked in the top 43% nationwide for research and development expenditures, and research grant awards increased from $16.8 million in Fiscal Year 2018 to $26.1 million in FY 2022.
“Dr. Leon Guerrero has spent her 25-year career at UOG leading cancer research and other major partnerships and growing the University's support capacity of robust research and sponsored programs,” said President Enriquez. “As Dean of CNAS, Dr. Leon Guerrero will continue UOG’s Land-Grant mission of teaching, research, and community engagement and will continue to support and develop our recently earned Sea Grant status.”
Leon Guerrero’s career at UOG began in June 1998 when she accepted the position of Assistant Professor/Nutrition Specialist. In 2008, She was promoted to full professor in Consumer and Family Sciences. She served as Associate Dean/Director of the Western Pacific Tropical Research Center in 2014 and subsequently became Vice Provost of Research & Sponsored Programs.
She is currently the principal investigator of the UOG Cancer Research Center, which was established in 2009 to address cancer health disparities in Pacific Islanders through a partnership between the University of Guam and the University of Hawaii Cancer Center.
Leon Guerrero earned a Master of Science in Human Nutrition from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 1992 and a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from UOG in 1989. She earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Human Nutrition from Colorado State University in May 1998.
“I always knew I’d come back to Guam after graduating from UOG and leaving island to pursue my master’s and doctorate,” said Leon Guerrero. “It has been an honor to serve alongside my colleagues at UOG over the last 25 years, and I’m humbled to continue that service in this new role.”
Dr. Lee Yudin, who has been Dean of CNAS since 2002, will step down from CNAS on October 31, and will continue in his role as Interim Dean of the School of Engineering..
“On behalf of the University, we express our gratitude to Dean Yudin for his dedication and leadership of UOG's land grant initiatives, partnerships through research and extension for the island and region, and the expansion of robust STEM majors and capacity for students in related programs,” said Enriquez.