Welcome From Acting Dean David Hunter
I am honored, and indeed fortunate, to be leading an institution with as much momentum behind its work as the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. In my role as Acting Dean, my primary responsibility is to build on that momentum by working together with our faculty, students, staff, alumni, and friends to harness the tenacity, energy, and dedication that drives every member of our Harvard Chan School community.
Last year Drew Faust, at the momentous announcement of the naming of the School, described us as being in a “public health moment.” This is indeed our time; as the challenges to the public’s health mount, our capacity to address them must keep pace. Our cumulative research can nudge individuals toward healthy behaviors and choices. Our data-driven insights can advance policy toward the goal of equitable well-being for all. And public health’s success builds on itself, making it a formidable and trusted force that can guide wise action to prevent disease, slow disease spread, and manage crises that threaten everyone’s health.
In the 20th century, advances in knowledge about how best to protect the public’s health helped double average life expectancy. But today, our progress is under attack by four major threats that cause disease, disability and death around the globe: old and new pandemics, harmful physical and social environments, poverty and humanitarian crises, and failing health systems
In every department at the Harvard Chan School, the educational and scientific enterprise reverberates with a strong forward momentum to address these four global threats. No other school of public health is as well positioned as ours to lead this effort.
I look forward to building upon this School’s 102-year history of successes and working with everyone in the School community and beyond to create powerful ideas that will make this a healthier world in the years ahead. Together our scholars, students, staff, alumni, friends, and partners will truly shape the future of the public’s health.