Richard Feachem, dean of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, is moving in April to a newly created senior post with the World Bank, over-seeing its health sector work.
Professor Feachem has presided over a radical transformation of the school during his five years as dean. It is now the largest provider of postgraduate medical education in the United Kingdom, and its research income as a percentage of total income is the highest of any university.
In the school's latest annual report, Professor Feachem claimed that no school in the world could match its international credentials, with staff coming from 39 nations, and its 581 MSc and research students coming from 83 nations.
"We've got the outcome we were fighting for. We're a free- standing postgraduate medical school and have direct relations with the Higher Education Funding Council for England, like Imperial College and the London School of Economics," he said.
A committee chaired by Lord Flowers, who chairs the school's board of management, is to search for the next dean.