Paul E. Farmer

First Name: 
Last Name: 
Paul E. Farmer

Director, Medical and Professional Training 
Kolokotrones University Professor
Harvard University
Chair, Global Health and Social Medicine
Harvard Medical School
Chief, Division of Global Health Equity 
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Co-founder, Partners In Health

Harvard Global Health Institute

Dr. Paul Farmer, Director of Medical and Professional Training at the Harvard Global Health Institute, is a medical anthropologist and physician whose work focuses on community-based treatment strategies for infectious diseases in resource-poor settings, health and human rights, and the role of social inequalities in determining disease distribution and outcomes.

He is a founding director of Partners In Health (PIH), an international non-profit organization that provides direct health care services and undertakes research and advocacy activities on behalf of those who are sick and living in poverty. He is Chief of the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) in Boston, and served for ten years as medical director of a charity hospital, L’Hôpital Bon Sauveur, in rural Haiti. Dr. Farmer and his colleagues in the U.S. and abroad have pioneered novel, community-based treatment strategies that demonstrate the delivery of high-quality health care in resource-poor settings. Dr. Farmer is also the UN Deputy Special Envoy for Haiti, under Special Envoy Bill Clinton.

Dr. Farmer has written extensively about health and human rights, and about the role of social inequalities in the distribution and outcome of infectious diseases. His most recent book is Haiti after the Earthquake. Other titles include Partner to the Poor: A Paul Farmer Reader, Pathologies of Power, Infections and Inequalities, The Uses of Haiti, and AIDS and Accusation. In addition, he is co-editor of Women, Poverty, and AIDS, of The Global Impact of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis, and of Global Health in Times of Violence. Dr. Farmer is the recipient of the Carter Award for Humanitarian Contributions to the Health of Humankind from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, the Salk Institute Medal for Health and Humanity, the Duke University Humanitarian Award, the Margaret Mead Award from the American Anthropological Association, the American Medical Association’s Outstanding International Physician (Nathan Davis) Award, the Heinz Award for the Human Condition, the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, and, with his PIH colleagues, the Hilton Humanitarian Prize. In 1993, he was awarded a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Award in recognition of his work. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Farmer received an AB from Duke University (1982) and an MD and PhD in anthropology from Harvard University (1990).