Former Mexican health minister named University of Miami president

MIAMI (Reuters) - Julio Frenk, former minister of public health in Mexico and current dean of Harvard's School of Public Health, was named president of the University of Miami on Monday.

He will be the private university’s first Hispanic president.

Frenk, 61, will succeed President Donna Shalala, the former U.S. secretary of Health and Human Service, who late last year announced she would step down after 14 years. Shalala, who served in former President Bill Clinton's cabinet, will become CEO of the Clinton family foundation later this year.

Frenk, was introduced at a press conference on Monday by the chair of the university board of trustees, Lennar Corp. Chief Executive Stuart Miller and Richard Fain, the head of Royal Caribbean Cruises, who led UM's presidential search committee.

Frenk was named dean of Harvard’s public health school in 2009. He served as Mexico’s top health official from 2000 to 2006, according to a biography on Harvard’s website.

During his tenure he expanded healthcare to Mexicans but drew scrutiny from conservative Catholics when government-run health clinics began distributing morning-after birth control pills.

Prior to joining Harvard, Frenk was widely seen as a potential candidate for director-general of the World Health Organization.

(Reporting by Zachary Fagenson; Editing by David Adams and Bill Trott)