What were you doing 20 years ago? What were you working on at that time? In my case, I was in Mexico, working as Director of the National Institute of Public Health (NIPH) and serving as the Dean of the School of Public Health. I remember Stef Bertozzi, at the time working with me at the NIPH in Mexico, and accepting a summer job with Richard Feachem in 1999. Remember, in 1999, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation did not exist; neither did GAVI The Vaccine Alliance, the Global Fund, nor PEPFAR. What did exist, was the vision of Haile T. Debas and Sir Richard Feachem, who we celebrated during our 20th-anniversary staff party and donor engagement events last month.
While we celebrate the past, we are also planning for the future by preparing the next wave of global health leaders through our education programs. The Masters, PhD, and newly launched Certificate programs are designed to provide interdisciplinary coursework, research training, and invaluable field experiences for our students. Graduates are uniquely positioned to address critical health challenges around the world. We are now accepting applications for the 13th generation of global health master’s students. If you’re considering, I encourage you to apply, and if you know someone who might be interested, please help us spread the word.
As I mentioned in September’s message, the momentum with border humanitarian health efforts is building up. In the next few months, I will be working with other global health leaders and stakeholders to create an actionable strategy to address severe health concerns. More details on my experience while visiting detention camps during my recent trip to Mexico, as well as the next steps in facing this crucial human rights issue, are on the horizon.
There is much more work to be done to relieve the burden of disease and advance health worldwide, but I believe that together, we will go far.