August 9, 2021

Dr. Melanie Henriksen Appointed President of National University of Natural Medicine

Dr. Melanie Henriksen Appointed President of National University of Natural Medicine

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For Immediate Release

Dr. Melanie Henriksen Appointed President of National University of Natural Medicine

Integrative healthcare practitioner, leader, and NUNM alumna confirmed by university’s Board of Directors

Portland, Oregon – The National University of Natural Medicine (NUNM) Board of Directors announced the appointment of Melanie Henriksen, ND, LAc, CNM, as president of the university, effective July 1, 2021. Dr. Henriksen has served as interim president since Oct. 30, 2020.

“Determined to find a way through the uncertainty and challenges of 2020, the Board of Directors invited a fresh start through new leadership: Dr. Melanie Henriksen,” said NUNM Board Chair Christoph Kind, ND. “After a comprehensive and deliberate evaluation by the Board, which included feedback from student, faculty, staff, and administrative leaders, I am honored to announce Dr. Henriksen has been offered and has accepted the permanent position of NUNM President. I am personally grateful for her dedication and efforts that brought our institution to this new, stronger place. NUNM’s future looks bright.”

During her eight-month tenure as interim president, Dr. Henriksen oversaw the university’s Covid-19 protocols, including the return to hybrid and in-person classes starting the Summer 2021 term. In April 2021, she presented a balanced budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year – without increasing tuition for the first time in over 20 years. The budget also restored cost-of-living adjustments for all NUNM staff and faculty, and increased retirement contributions for all full-time NUNM employees.

Other hallmarks of her interim tenure include the launch of the first-of-its-kind first-year online doctorate of naturopathic medicine program, the renaming of classical Chinese medicine degree titles, and investment in the NUNM Equity and Inclusion Fund.

“NUNM has turned a corner from some extraordinarily challenging times,” said Dr. Henriksen, who earned her doctorate in naturopathic medicine and MSOM at NUNM in 2005. “What we know is that moving forward, higher education must be more equitable and student-centered than ever.”

Dr. Henriksen possesses a broad skill set in teaching, delivery of health care, and leadership in professional organizations.

After graduating in 2005 from NUNM’s naturopathic, Chinese medicine, and natural childbirth/midwifery programs, Dr. Henriksen completed her residency at NUNM, then established her private practice as a licensed primary care physician and acupuncturist. In 2009, she received a Master of Nursing degree from Oregon Health & Science University and became certified as a nurse midwife.

Prior to her appointment as president, Dr. Henriksen held several key roles at NUNM: residency director, associate dean of naturopathic medicine, attending physician, dean of naturopathic medicine, and chief medical officer.

Along with her significant experience as a clinician and administrator, Dr. Henriksen has worked in the conventional medical model as a nurse midwife at Kaiser Permanente. She is passionate about integrative health care, collaborative medicine, and evidence-informed practice.

“I am honored by the Board’s selection and excited to lead the nation’s oldest accredited naturopathic medicine teaching institution,” Dr. Henriksen said. “NUNM will continue to provide its diverse and talented community of healers an accessible opportunity to advance the education, practice, and science of integrative medicine. I look forward to the work we will undertake together, and I believe that for all this institution has achieved over the past 65 years, our best days are yet to come.”

Dr. Henriksen was also recently appointed president of the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges (AANMC), the nonprofit association that represents the North American naturopathic schools accredited by the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME), and elected chair of the RAND Leadership Council. Previously, she has served as chair of the Institute for Natural Medicine‘s Residency Consortium, and as a board member of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP).


Celebrating its 65th year, NUNM is the oldest accredited naturopathic medical school in North America and the leading educational authority in natural medicine education and research.

Founded in 1956 in Portland, Oregon, as National College of Natural Medicine, the school changed its name in 2016 to National University of Natural Medicine to reflect its academic status as a university with its addition of undergraduate degree programs. NUNM also offers doctoral and master’s degree programs in naturopathic and classical Chinese medicine, integrative medicine research, nutrition, and global health.

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