Dr. Wayne A.I. Frederick has been named Howard University's 17th president, the university announced Tuesday morning.
Frederick, described by the school as a respected scholar, surgeon, researcher and administrator, has been serving as interim president since October.
He previously served as Howard's provost and chief academic officer.
Originally from Trinidad and Tobago, Frederick enrolled at Howard at the age of 16, and earned a dual B.S./M.D. at 22. He also earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Howard's School of Business.
Howard's Board of Trustees voted to appoint Frederick during a meeting Monday evening, after a unanimous recommendation by the university's Presidential Search Committee.
Frederick's appointment comes as the university attempts to recover from financial difficulties and a decrease in enrollment.
Moody's has downgraded the school's credit score, and Howard's ranking in U.S. News and World Report dropped last year by 42 spots.
Howard's previous president, Sidney Ribeau, retired last fall.
"I am deeply honored to be selected by the Board of Trustees to lead this great University," Frederick said in a statement released by the university. "Howard University has been an unparalleled catalyst since its founding, opening doors and expanding opportunity for untold individuals while driving research, innovation, service, and excellence."