Division of Head and Neck Surgery & Communication Sciences, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, USA Howard W. Francis, M.D., M.B.A., FACS is professor and chief of the division of Head and Neck Surgery & Communication Sciences in the department of Surgery at Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina. As a neurotologist Dr Francis’ clinical interests span the full scope of this subspecialty including the management of conditions of the ear, skull base and associated nervous system. His research interests include the determination of best practices of acoustic neuroma treatment, the examination of functional outcomes of cochlear implantation in young children and older adults, and the study of best practices in surgical education. Recent publications include multifactor influences of shared decision-making in acoustic neuroma treatment, clinical and psychosocial risk factors of hearing outcome in older adults with cochlear implants, and personal characteristics of residents may predict competency improvement. He serves on editorial boards of the Cummings Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery Text, the Otology and Neurotology Journal and the World Journal of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery. He is a member of the Otolaryngology Residency Review Committee of the ACGME and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. He was the 2018 president of the Society of University Otolaryngologists. After completing his high-school education in Jamaica, and his bachelor’s degree at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, Dr Francis earned his medical degree from the Harvard-MIT division of Health, Science and Technology at Harvard Medical School, and then completed his internship, residency and fellowship training at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. He completed his Master’s in Business Administration with a focus in medical services management at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. After 19 years on the faculty at Johns Hopkins during which he served as Residency Program Director, Director of the Johns Hopkins Listening Center and Vice Director of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, he was appointed chief of the division of Head and Neck Surgery & Communication Sciences in the Department of Surgery at Duke in March 2017.