Michael Reich honored for advancing public health in Japan

Michael Reich

For immediate release: April 29, 2015

Boston, MA — On April 29 in Japan, the Japanese Government announced its Spring Honors List. Harvard University Professor Michael Robin Reich is awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon for his outstanding contribution to the promotion of Japan’s policy for global public health as well as for advancing public health in Japan.

Professor Reich is Taro Takemi Professor of International Health Policy at the Department of Global Health and Population of the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and an eminent scholar on public health policy. Professor Reich’s research program addresses the political dimensions of public health policy, and he has worked on health policy issues in Japan for over four decades. His interests include health system strengthening and reform, access to medicines and pharmaceutical policy, and the political economy of policy-making processes.

He obtained his Ph.D. in political science at Yale University in 1981 after receiving his bachelor’s degree in molecular biophysics and biochemistry and master’s degree in East Asian Studies, with a focus on Japanese Studies, both also at Yale.

Prof. Reich was honored June 5, 2015 at a ceremony held at the residence of the Consulate-General of Japan in Boston.
Prof. Reich was honored June 5, 2015 at a ceremony held at the residence of the Consulate-General of Japan in Boston.

He helped establish the Takemi Program in International Health at the Harvard School of Public Health in 1983 and has contributed to its significant achievements over more than 30 years as a Harvard faculty member. Since 1983, this program has hosted 251 mid-career Takemi Fellows from 53 countries around the world, including 55 from Japan. Many Takemi Fellows have achieved leadership positions in their own countries, in government, universities, and the private sector. Through this program and his own research activities, he has contributed to improving people’s health all over the world.

Professor Reich has also provided remarkable support to Japan’s contributions to international public health issues. Dr. Reich worked on health systems issues with prominent policy leadership in Japan to propose policy initiatives to the Japanese government for the Toyako G8 Summit held in Japan in 2008; he contributed to the landmark special issue on the Japanese health system by the international medical journal Lancet in September 2011; and he has collaborated with Japanese researchers and the World Bank to promote policies for Universal Health Coverage (UHC) based on the Japanese experience.

In addition, a number of Dr. Reich’s books have been translated and published in Japan.

In light of these outstanding contributions, the Japanese government has deemed it appropriate to bestow this high award on Professor Reich.

Visit the Harvard Chan website for the latest newspress releases, and multimedia offerings.

For more information:

Todd Datz

photo: Martha Stewart


Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health brings together dedicated experts from many disciplines to educate new generations of global health leaders and produce powerful ideas that improve the lives and health of people everywhere. As a community of leading scientists, educators, and students, we work together to take innovative ideas from the laboratory to people’s lives—not only making scientific breakthroughs, but also working to change individual behaviors, public policies, and health care practices. Each year, more than 400 faculty members at Harvard Chan teach 1,000-plus full-time students from around the world and train thousands more through online and executive education courses. Founded in 1913 as the Harvard-MIT School of Health Officers, the School is recognized as America’s oldest professional training program in public health.

Note: For more photos from the June 5, 2015 ceremony in Boston, click here