Welcome back!

Dear Members of the Harvard Chan School Community,

I am thrilled to welcome you back for a new academic year!

The start of the fall semester always brings a special energy, which comes through in this wonderful short video from our new student orientation.

Our incoming class hails from 39 states and 66 countries, representing an impressive breadth of backgrounds, expertise, and experience. That diversity will help them, and all of us, advance our shared vision of a world that ensures health, dignity, and justice for every human being. We have a lot to learn from one another.

So, whether you’re stepping on campus for the first time or returning for your 25th year (like I am!), I urge all of you to engage with the fabulous community around you. Watch your email for details on upcoming opportunities, including:


  • Crossroads Dinners: Alumni and faculty will host monthly dinners for small groups of students. They’ll share moments where they found themselves at a crossroads either personally or professionally and talk about how they navigated those decisions. Please sign up here.

Lunches with Leadership: Grab a tray and join members of school leadership for lunch and conversation at Sebastian’s Café! No set agenda – just an opportunity to connect with administrators, faculty, and other students. Please sign up here.


  • I’ll be hosting a Welcome Back Brunch reception on Tuesday, Sept. 19 from 9:30 to 11 am in the cafeteria. Please RSVP here.


Harvard Chan Community Day of Service – On Monday, Oct. 2, we’ll gather for lunch in Kresge and then fan out to volunteer opportunities on campus and across the city. Students, staff, faculty, alumni are all encouraged to participate; this is a terrific opportunity to get to know and give back to our local community. Please sign up here.

These are just a few of the many events that will be popping up around campus and online in the weeks ahead, and as we start the new semester, I urge you to go out and engage with each other – thoughtfully, respectfully, and inclusively. As I mentioned in my community message last month, my team and I are also working to build skills for fostering civil discourse and engaging across differences.

One upcoming event that I’d like to highlight is being sponsored by the Council on Academic Freedom at Harvard. “What is Campus Free Speech For? Some Philosophical Reflections” will feature a lecture from Edward Hall, the Norman E. Vuilleumier Professor of Philosophy, and a response by Danielle Allen, the James Bryant Conant University Professor, who also served as co-chair of the Harvard University Presidential Task Force on Inclusion and Belonging and co-author of the Task Force report. It’s open to the entire university community and will be available both in person and via livestream.

By better understanding the different perspectives that surround us, we can all increase our impact on the world. I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject, and welcome suggestions for additional programming.

It’s my privilege to learn and work alongside so many brilliant and dedicated public health leaders. I’m excited for the academic year and l can’t wait to see many of you on campus.


Jane J. Kim, SM ’01, PhD ’05
Interim Dean of the Faculty
Dean for Academic Affairs
K.T. Li Professor of Health Economics
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health