Office of the President

Wilson Hall, Room 204
371 Wilson Boulevard
Rochester, MI 48309-4486
(location map)


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 healthcare, leadership, 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 19,000 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. Under her leadership, the campus has grown, institutional culture and morale have increased as have the entrepreneurial spirit, philanthropy, and community engagement resulting in an enhanced regional and national reputation, as manifest by numerous national awards.

Ora served on the Board of Directors of Life Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: LIFE) where she focused on strategic planning and the medical and life sciences applications of Life Technologies’ products. She served on the Compensation, and Organizational Development and Regulatory Oversight Committees until LIFE’s acquisition by Thermo Fisher in February, 2014 for $13.6B. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Priority Health, where she also serves on the Quality Improvement Committee; she is also a member of the Board of Transformative, Inc.

Ora’s leadership experiences include serving as Senior Vice President and U.S. Medical Leader at Lilly Biomedicines for Eli Lilly and Company. In this capacity, she was responsible for the launch of new medicines, real world evidence-based research, relationships with large health systems, drug pricing, and patient assistance programs.

She was the first female CEO of the University of Michigan’s Health System and Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs, where she led three hospitals, more than 120 health centers and clinics, and had oversight of more $3.3B in revenue and $490M in research funding. She served as president and CEO of Riley Hospital for Children, and executive associate dean for Research Affairs at Indiana University School of Medicine and interim vice president for research at Indiana University.

She serves on numerous non-profit boards, including the Innovation Ventures Advisory Board for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, the Detroit Economic Club Board of Directors, the Gift of Life Board of Governors, the Board of the United Way of Southeastern Michigan, Vice Chair of the Horizon League, and member of the NCAA Division I Presidential Forum. She is the Chair of the Board of the Michigan Association of State Universities and the Co-Chair of Detroit Drives Degrees, among others.

Significant awards include being named one of the Influential Women in Indianapolis, a Power Player in Life Sciences, Technology, Health Care and Insurance, a Distinguished Hoosier, a Sagamore of the Wabash by Indiana’s Governor, one of Detroit Crain’s Newsmakers of the Year, Top 25 Women in Healthcare, a Distinguished Leadership award from the Endocrine Society, Lifetime Achievement award from the Human Growth Foundation, Bates Street Society Pillar of Education Awardee and “Powered by Women,”

Ora earned her medical degree from Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine where she was awarded Distinguished Alumnus Awards from both the University and the School of Medicine. She completed a fellowship in pediatric endocrinology at the National Institutes of Health. She is a professor of Biological Sciences in the Department of Pediatrics in the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine.

Printable biography