Leaders and prizewinners

CDC/WHO connections

Graduates of the School have gone on to illustrious careers around the world. Among the most high-profile graduates are six directors of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: James Lee Goddard, (MPH ’55, 1961-1966); David J. Sencer (MPH ’58, 1966-1977); William H. Foege (MPH ’65, 1977-1983); James O. Mason (MPH ’63, DPH ’67, 1983-1989); Donald R. Hopkins (MPH ’70, Acting Director 1985); Jeffrey Koplan (MPH ’78, 1998-2002), and Rochelle Walensky (MPH ’01, 2021-).

The School’s graduates have also assumed leadership positions at the World Health Organization. Gro Harlem Brundtland (MPH ’65) was WHO Director-General from 1998 to 2003. William Foege, Donald Hopkins, and Ralph Henderson (MPH ’70) played prominent roles in WHO’s global smallpox eradication campaign. In 1986, Jonathan Mann (MPH ’80) founded WHO’s Global Program on AIDS.

MacArthur “Genius” grant recipients

  • 2006: Atul Gawande, Associate Professor, Department of Health Policy and Management
  • 2005: Sue Goldie, Roger Irving Lee Professor of Public Health, Department of Health Policy and Management
  • 2003: Jim Yong Kim, former director of the François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights
  • 1991: Joel Schwartz, Professor of Environmental Epidemiology, Department of Environmental Health
  • 1981: John Cairns, Professor of Microbiology emeritus

Nobel Prize winners

Three School-affiliated scientists have been awarded the Nobel Prize. In 1954, Thomas Weller shared the Prize in Physiology and Medicine for devising a way of growing polio viruses in tissue culture. The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, co-founded by faculty member Bernard Lown, received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985. Amartya Sen, from the School’s Department of Population and International Health, won the 1998 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics for his work on human rights, poverty, and famine.