Postdoc and Fellow

Joseph L. Henry, DDS, PhD

Dr. Joseph L. Henry was Professor of Oral Diagnosis, before becoming the first African American to become Interim Dean at Harvard School of Dental Medicine. He earned his degree from the Howard College of Dentistry, and his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois. He became Professor at Howard University of Dental Medicine, as well as Director of Clinics and Coordinator of Research. In 1966, he was appointed Dean of Howard University School of Dentistry. In 1968, Dr. Henry established a dental clinic at Resurrection City, the tent city in Washington D.C., as part of the Poor People’s Campaign initiated by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

In 1975, Dr. Henry was recruited to Harvard School of Dental Medicine. He was the first Black professor on the Harvard School of Dental Medicine faculty.

From 1990-1991, he served as Interim Dean of the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. The Joseph L. Henry Oral Health Fellowship in Minority Health Policy was established in 2005 in the Office of Diversity Inclusion and Community Partnership (DICP) at Harvard Medical School—a collaborative effort between HMS DICP and Harvard School of Dental Medicine. This Fellowship continues his legacy by providing resources for the next generation of leaders who will improve the capacity of the health care system to address the health needs of minority and disadvantaged populations.