Mission Statement

 Harvard Global Health Institute

 “Members of the Harvard family: Here in the Yard is one of the great collections of intellectual talent in the world. What for? There is no question that the faculty, the alumni, the students, and the benefactors at Harvard have used their power to improve the lives of people here and around the world. But can we do more? Can Harvard dedicate its intellect to improving the lives of people who will never even hear its name?” Bill Gates, Harvard Commencement Speech, 6 June 2007

Globalization is fundamentally changing the world.  The biggest challenges any one region, country, or community is facing are rarely theirs alone – from security to climate change to disease, “theirs” is increasingly “ours”.  Fortunately, we are also able to come together to address these shared challenges like never before, thanks to research, technology, and an unprecedented ability to share information.  There are still many things that divide us, but global health has the potential to be the great equalizer – a set of challenges and solutions in which we all have a stake. Shared efforts to improve global health can not only unite us, they have to the potential to improve lives on a global scale.

The Harvard Global Health Institute is committed to surfacing and addressing broad challenges in public health that affect large populations around the globe.  We believe that solutions that will move the dial draw from within and beyond the medicine and public health spheres to encompass design, law, policy, and business.  We do that by harnessing the unique breadth of excellence within fields at Harvard and by being a dedicated partner and convener to organizations, governments, scholars, and committed citizens around the globe.

To help deliver this mission, all of HGHI’s work will adhere to 3 strategic principles:

  • It will be multi-disciplinary
  • It will involve external partners whenever possible
  • It will systematically measure impact of its work and change course as needed

HGHI Focus Areas:

  • Connect the students, faculty, and thought leaders across the University and its affiliated hospitals who are working in global health, and facilitate the exchange of ideas across disciplines, as well as new projects and collaborations.  Encourage impact through conversations, not lectures.   
  • Enhance the University’s capacity to conduct and disseminate research, particularly on topics that are too complex and interdisciplinary to have a natural home with any one researcher, Department, or Harvard School.  Seed and foster ambitious research programs that address some of the biggest challenges facing the globe, such as how climate change is likely to impact the health of the world’s population, how health systems will prepare and manage the world’s aging population, and how technology can be a transformative force for improving health. 
  • Support and expand creative, collaborative educational efforts in global health. Provide opportunities for students at every level to experience and understand the challenges facing the world’s populations, and consider new ways to address those challenges. 

In each of these focus areas, the Harvard Global Health Institute will create and pursue opportunities to convene and connect stakeholders across disciplines, geographies, and sectors.