Global health leaders share insights, hopes for future of public health

2 min read

What’s the best way to approach difficult-to-achieve public health goals?

Be flexible. Be comfortable with “good enough.” See the glass as half-full instead of half-empty.

Those were some of the recommendations from five ministerial-level public health leaders who spoke to a packed house in Kresge G-1 at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) on Oct. 25, as part of the School’s Centennial Leadership Summit. The panelists shared insights about why they chose public health and what they’d most like to see achieved in the years to come.

The event was part of a two-day celebration of HSPH’S Centennial that included an awards ceremony, a Gala dinner, and other talks and small group discussions about various aspects of public health.

The panel was moderated by Harvey Fineberg, A.B. ’67, M.D. ’71, M.P.P. ’72, Ph.D. ’80, president of the Institute of Medicine and former Dean of HSPH. The panelists, introduced by HSPH Dean Julio Frenk, included Gro Harlem Brundtland, M.P.H. ’65, former Prime Minister of Norway and former Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO); Suraya Dalil, M.P.H. ’05, Minister of Public Health of Afghanistan; Howard Koh, Assistant Secretary for Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Kelechi Ohiri, M.P.H. ’02, SM ’03, Senior Adviser, Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria; and Pradit Sintavanarong, M.P.H. ’89, Minister of Public Health of Thailand.