Disturbing international events

Dear Members of the Harvard Chan School Community,

I write to you today as we witness extremely disturbing events on the world stage.

In Afghanistan, crowds of people converged on the Kabul airport in a desperate effort to escape the country, now under Taliban rule as the U.S. withdraws its troops. As these chaotic scenes occurred, armed Taliban fighters took over the Afghan presidential palace.

From Haiti, we have learned about major destruction and the death of more than 1,400 people caused by a powerful earthquake that rocked the country this past Saturday. The catastrophe occurred as the nation continues to recover from a devastating 2010 earthquake as well as political destabilization in the wake of the recent assassination of its president. The country now faces more uncertainty from a tropical depression headed in its direction.

We know that these unfolding events may be immensely difficult for many of our students, staff, and faculty with family and friends around the world. If you are struggling or in need of additional support, please do not hesitate to reach out to the resources below.

Students may contact Colleen Cronin in Student Affairs, ccronin@hsph.harvard.edu, 617-432-1542, or Harvard University Counseling and Mental Health Services, 617-495-2042 (617-495-5711 after hours).

Faculty and staff members may contact Jennifer Ivers in Faculty Affairs, ivers@hsph.harvard.edu; Linda Picard in Human Resources, lpicard@hsph.harvard.edu; or Harvard’s Employee Assistance Program, 877-327-4278 (877-EAP-HARV).

Additionally, the Ombuds Office provides a highly confidential forum to students, faculty, and staff whose concerns are affecting their work or studies.

During these difficult times, I remain grateful, as always, to be part of our extraordinary and supportive community. Please take good care of yourselves and each other.



Michelle A. Williams, ScD 
Dean of the Faculty, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Angelopoulos Professor in Public Health and International Development,
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Kennedy School