Office of the President

Wilson Hall, Suite 4000
371 Wilson Boulevard
Rochester, MI 48309-4486
(location map)

Biography

Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, M.D.


A headshot of Ora Hirsch Pescovitz.

Dr. Pescovitz has more than 30 years of experience in health centers, industry and universities where she has been responsible for creative innovations, entrepreneurial discovery and strategic planning. She is a renowned pediatric endocrinologist and investigator who has published more than 190 papers and books. She is a sought-after speaker on a range of topics, including education, leadership, healthcare and women’s issues. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine.

Ora is the president of Oakland University, a doctoral research institution with more than 17,000 graduate and undergraduate students. Since becoming president, she has increased academic success, scholarship and community engagement and has focused major efforts on diversity, equity and inclusion and sustainability. Under her leadership, the campus has grown, institutional culture and morale have increased as have the entrepreneurial spirit, philanthropy, and community engagement have increased and regional and national reputation have been enhanced, as manifest by numerous national awards.

Dr. Pescovitz earned her medical degree from Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine; she received Distinguished Alumni Awards from both the Feinberg School of Medicine and Northwestern University. Her primary research has focused on the physiologic and molecular mechanisms responsible for disorders of growth and puberty, and the development of novel therapies for these conditions. She has received numerous awards for her research, teaching, and leadership.

During her extensive 21-year career at Indiana University, she served as Executive Associate Dean for Research Affairs at the Indiana University School of Medicine, President and CEO of Riley Hospital for Children, and interim Vice President for Research Administration for IU.

From 2009-2014, she was the University of Michigan’s Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs and Health System CEO. In this role, she led a system that included three hospitals, more than 120 health centers and clinics, and the University of Michigan Medical School. She oversaw $3.3 billion in revenue and $490 million in research funding.

From 2014-2017, Dr. Pescovitz was Eli Lilly and Company’s Senior Vice President and U.S. Medical Leader for Lilly Biomedicines, where she was responsible for real world evidence-based research and relationships with large health systems.

Dr. Pescovitz served as president of the Society for Pediatric Research, the nation’s largest pediatric research organization; president of the Lawson Wilkins (North American) Pediatric Endocrine Society, and chair of the March of Dimes Grants Review Committee. She also served on the University of Florida Health System Strategic Cabinet, Anthem-Lilly Joint Research Governance Council, and Advancement Council of the Indiana University Fairbanks School of Public Health. She also served on the boards of the Hormone Foundation, National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions (NACHRI), Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Advisory Board for Clinical Research and the Board of Life Technology (prior to its sale to Thermo Fisher). At Life Technology, she served on the Compensation and Organizational Development and the Regulatory Oversight Committees.

Among others, Dr. Pescovitz currently serves on the Board of Directors of Priority Health, United Way of Southeastern Michigan, the Detroit Economic Club, Transformative AI Limited, the Governing Board of Gift of Life, Michigan, the Horizon League Board of Directors where she is Vice Chair of the Board, Chair for the Michigan Association of State Universities, Citizens Research Council of Michigan Board of Trustees, Co-Chair of the Detroit Drives Degrees Leadership Council, Innovation Ventures Advisory Board for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, MBX Biosciences, and a member of the Michigan Chapter of the International Women’s Forum.

Her late husband, Dr. Mark Pescovitz, was a renowned transplant surgeon at Indiana University. She is a proud mother to three children, three in-law children, and six grandchildren. Her partner, Dr. Daniel Walsh is a cardiologist at Beaumont Health-Spectrum Health System.

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