Knowledge Enterprise leadership

Sally C. Morton

Executive Vice President
ASU Knowledge Enterprise

Sally C. Morton is a statistician and the executive vice president of Arizona State University’s Knowledge Enterprise. In that role, she advances the university’s research priorities and drives corporate engagement, economic development, global initiatives, strategic partnerships and technology transfer.

She is a professor in the College of Health Solutions and the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences and holds the Florence Ely Nelson Chair.

Morton’s career has spanned academia and industry. She most recently served as dean of the Virginia Tech College of Science and interim director of the Fralin Life Sciences Institute. She has also held leadership roles at the University of Pittsburgh as chair of the Biostatistics Department and founding director of the Comparative Effectiveness Research Center in the Health Policy Institute; at RTI International as vice president for statistics and epidemiology; and at the RAND Corporation as head of the Statistics Group. 

Morton is internationally recognized in the use of data science in health care. She has a particular focus on patient-centered comparative effectiveness research: solving problems that patients themselves identify to improve health care and allow patients, their families and providers make better health care decisions. She has been involved in projects across a wide range of topics, including health care quality, homelessness, mental health and substance abuse. Her methodological work focuses on evidence synthesis, particularly the science of systematic reviews and meta-analysis. 

Morton was the 2009 president of the American Statistical Association (ASA) and the 2013 chair of the statistics section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She is a fellow of both organizations, as well as an elected member of the Society for Research Synthesis Methodology and the International Statistical Institute. She received the Norwood Award for Outstanding Achievement by a Woman in the Statistical Sciences in 2017, among other honors. 

Morton is a member of the Board of Scientific Counselors for the National Center for Health Statistics, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Methodology Committee and the Research Advisory Committee of the National Collaborative on Gun Violence Research. At the National Academy of Medicine, she has chaired and served on committees addressing clinical practice guidelines, comparative effectiveness research prioritization, dietary guidelines, geographical variations in health care spending and systematic reviews. 

Morton received a PhD in statistics from Stanford University, where she also earned master’s and bachelor’s degrees, and she holds an MSc in statistics from the London School of Economics. 

She joined ASU in February 2021.