Alumni Award Recipients 2017

Three outstanding individuals nominated by their peers received the School’s highest alumni honor at this year’s Alumni Award of Merit dinner, held on October 14 at the School.

A beloved mentor and professor of medicine at the American University of Beirut, in Lebanon, Ghada El-Hajj Fuleihan is recognized for her work on metabolic bone disorders and noncommunicable diseases. She is founder and program director of the World Health Organization’s Collaborating Center for Metabolic Bone Disorders, the only one of its kind in the Middle East. The center grew out of a program she founded and directed at American University. El-Hajj Fuleihan is a member of the WHO Expert Advisory Panel on Nutrition and recipient of the Endocrine Society’s 2016 International Excellence in Endocrinology Award, among numerous other awards and honors. Her work has had a major impact on the global prevention of vitamin D deficiency and osteoporosis. She co-developed and launched a country-specific fracture-risk calculator and contributed to the development of inter-national osteoporosis guidelines. In 2012, she established a clinical research intensive summer certificate and health research master’s program at American University.

Neil Powe brings the skills and perspectives of both an epidemiologist and a clinician to his roles as the Constance B. Wofsy Distinguished Professor at the University of California, San Francisco, and as chief of medicine at the Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, part of the San Francisco Department of Public Health. At the hospital, he oversees 15 divisions, with more than 700 employees engaged in population-based clinical practice, medical education, and research. Powe is also one of the world’s foremost experts on health policy and outcome improvement in chronic kidney disease—a condition that disproportionately affects minorities and people of low socioeconomic status. As one of the most influential researchers in this field, with some 400 publications to his credit, he is also skilled at translating public health research into policy-relevant information. Before going to San Francisco, Powe led the Welch Center for Prevention, Epidemiology and Clinical Research at Johns Hopkins University.

Joan Reede has dedicated her life to improving the health and well-being of people in underserved and marginalized communities. Beginning her career as a pediatrician and child psychiatrist, she expanded her focus to issues of health care policy and the recruitment and training of future health care professionals. Now serving as dean for diversity and community partnership at Harvard Medical School, Reede is also professor of medicine, director of the Minority Faculty Development Program, and faculty director of Community Outreach Programs at the Medical School, and an assistant in health policy at Massachusetts General Hospital. In addition, she is a professor in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard Chan School, where she is director for two graduate courses on leadership and minority health. Among other initiatives, she is a founder of the Commonwealth Fund Mongan Fellowship in Minority Health Policy, which she directs. The program’s alumni have organized as Reede Scholars in her honor, continuing her legacy.

Three Mid-Career Alumni Awards were presented to recognize achievements in various areas of public health and various stages of public health careers.

Three Alumni Mid-Career Awards were presented to recognize achievements in various areas of public health and various stages of public health careers. From left, Huey-Jen Jenny Su, Farouk Meralli, and Teresa Chahine. Photo: Kent Dayton / Harvard Chan
Three Alumni Mid-Career Awards were presented to recognize achievements in various areas of public health and various stages of public health careers. From left, Huey-Jen Jenny Su, Farouk Meralli, and Teresa Chahine. Photo: Sarah Sholes / Harvard Chan


Since graduating in 2010, Teresa Chahine has been building the field of social enterprise in public health, both at the Harvard Chan School and in her home country of Lebanon. In 2012, she launched Alfanar Lebanon, a venture philanthropy organization. During the Syrian refugee crisis, she mobilized her Harvard Chan School classmates to crowdfund emergency relief for children. Chahine launched the first social entrepreneurship course at the School in 2013, and co-instructs a second course on innovation and entrepreneurship in public health. In 2016 she published the first textbook on the topic, Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship. She launched a social entrepreneurship research internship program at the Center for Health and the Global Environment and created a hybrid online social entrepreneurship course at Harvard Extension School. Earlier in her career, she worked for the United Nations Population Fund in the Ministry of Social Affairs in Lebanon and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


Farouk Meralli brings the worlds of data science and public health together through scalable technology. In 2012, he founded mClinica, a venture-backed mobile health technology startup that connects pharmacies, physicians, and patients across Asia’s emerging markets through a single common platform. He first conceived of the idea as a student at the Harvard Chan School, when he was confronted with the challenges of availability and accessibility of health care data in the developing world. To date, mClinica has connected over 10,000 pharmacies across Asia, providing access to over 80 million patients and generating over 3 billion data records. One result has been a reduction in the overall cost of medication by as much as 30 percent. Prior to mClinica, Meralli held roles in strategy and new product commercialization at companies including Pfizer, Roche, and Sanofi. He is co-founder of Borderless World Volunteers, an international nongovernmental organization, and Machine Ventures, a startup builder in Southeast Asia.


A highly respected university administrator and scholar in environmental health, Huey-Jen Jenny Su combines academics with research and advocacy. After serving for four years as executive vice president of National Cheng Kung University in Tainan, Taiwan, she was elected the first female president of that institution in 2015. She is also a distinguished professor in the department of environmental and occupational health at the university’s College of Medicine. Among her previous positions, she served in the Taiwanese ministry of education. Su’s research focuses on the health effects of air pollution, particularly airborne microbial hazards and chemicals. She is an advocate for regulation of indoor air quality in public buildings, and her research and policy efforts led to passage of the Indoor Air Quality Management Act in 2011, making Taiwan the second nation in the world, after South Korea, to enact a law regulating indoor air quality.