Dean of the Harvard School of Public Health, former Minister of Health of Mexico
Julio Frenk became Dean of the Faculty and T&G Angelopoulos Professor of Public Health and International Development at the Harvard School of Public Health on 1 January 2009.
Frenk is an eminent authority on global health who served as the Minister of Health of Mexico from 2000 to 2006. He pursued an ambitious agenda to reform the nation’s health system, with an emphasis on redressing social inequality. He is perhaps best known for his work in introducing a program of comprehensive national health insurance, known as Seguro Popular, which expanded access to health care for tens of millions of previously uninsured Mexicans.
Frenk was the founding director-general of the National Institute of Public Health in Mexico, one of the leading institutions of health education and research in the developing world. In 1998, Frenk joined the World Health Organization (WHO) as executive director in charge of Evidence and Information for Policy, WHO’s first-ever unit explicitly charged with developing a scientific foundation for health policy to achieve better outcomes.
Most recently, he served as a senior fellow in the global health program of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and as president of the Carso Health Institute in Mexico City. He is chair of the board of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.
Frenk holds a medical degree from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, as well as three advanced degrees from the University of Michigan: Masters of Public Health, Masters of Arts in sociology, and a Ph.D. in medical organization and sociology.
In addition to his scholarly works, which include articles in academic journals as well as many books and book chapters, he has written two best-selling novels for youngsters explaining the functions of the human body.
In September of 2008, Frenk received the Clinton Global Citizen Award for changing “the way practitioners and policy makers across the world think about health.”