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Mass General Brigham Names Robert S.D. Higgins President of Brigham and Women’s Hospital

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Higgins Will Also Serve as Executive Vice President at Mass General Brigham, Helping to Execute System Strategy

Dr. Robert S. D. Higgins, President of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Executive Vice President at Mass General Brigham

Mass General Brigham President and CEO Anne Klibanski, MD today announced that Robert S.D. Higgins, MD, MSHA, has been named President of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Executive Vice President at Mass General Brigham effective December 2021.

Higgins currently serves as Surgeon-in-Chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital and is the William Stewart Halsted Professor of Surgery and Director of the Department of Surgery at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 

“Dr. Higgins is a proven innovator with the ability to manage complex multidisciplinary services at world class organizations, and a passionate advocate for research with a life-long commitment to training the next generation of exceptional people in healthcare,” said Klibanski. “He is the ideal choice at this critical moment in our history to lead Brigham and Women’s Hospital, understanding the world ahead of us and the role each of us plays across Mass General Brigham in putting patients at the center of everything we do – transforming care and making care more affordable, improving outcomes, advancing research and innovation, and expanding our impact regionally, nationally and globally.”

A highly regarded and accomplished leader, Higgins is a leading authority in heart and lung transplantation, minimally invasive cardiac surgery and mechanical circulatory support. He is renowned as a world class researcher and is recognized nationally and internationally for his research in the areas of heart and lung transplantation and disparities in outcomes in cardiac surgery. 

At Hopkins, Higgins led the enterprise-wide clinical expansion of the Hopkins surgical services program across the Maryland, Washington D.C. and Mid-Atlantic regions at five hospitals and multiple ambulatory locations. Higgins also oversaw the development of the surgical services program at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital, a pediatric acute care children's hospital located in St. Petersburg, Florida and led the launch of Hopkins’ first systemwide multidisciplinary service line, the Comprehensive Transplant Center.

Prior to joining Hopkins, Higgins served as Department of Surgery Chair and Director of the Comprehensive Transplant Center at The Ohio State University Medical Center and served as a senior registrar in transplantation at the renowned Papworth Hospital, the United Kingdom’s largest cardiothoracic surgical program and main heart-lung transplant center. He also served as a Major in the United States Army Reserve Medical Corps for 13 years and while doing so, supported the Richmond Veterans Administration transplantation program. 

Higgins has served in numerous national professional leadership roles including the President of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, President of the United Network for Organ Sharing, President of the Society of Black Academic Surgeons, President and founding member of the Association of Black Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgeons and as a member of the Board of Directors of the American Board of Thoracic Surgery.

Higgins earned his bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and medical degree from Yale School of Medicine. He completed a residency in general surgery and served as Chief Resident at the University Hospitals of Pittsburgh. He was a Winchester Scholar and fellow in cardiothoracic surgery at the Yale School of Medicine and earned a master’s degree in health services administration at Virginia Commonwealth University. 

Higgins succeeds Sunil Eappen, MD, who has been serving as Interim President since early March when Betsy Nabel, MD stepped down.  

Media Contact

Mass General Brigham:
Rich Copp, 617-278-1031

About Mass General Brigham

Mass General Brigham is an integrated academic health care system, uniting great minds to solve the hardest problems in medicine for our communities and the world. Mass General Brigham connects a full continuum of care across a system of academic medical centers, community and specialty hospitals, a health insurance plan, physician networks, community health centers, home care, and long-term care services. Mass General Brigham is a nonprofit organization committed to patient care, research, teaching, and service to the community. In addition, Mass General Brigham is one of the nation’s leading biomedical research organizations with several Harvard Medical School teaching hospitals. For more information, please visit