The Senior Leadership Fellows Program provides a bridge from the world of decision-making to the world of academia.

This program offers a unique opportunity for those who have recently served in high-level positions in government, multilateral institutions, nonprofit organizations, and journalism to spend time at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health to share reflections of their own career and leadership expertise with the next generation of world leaders.

Senior Leadership Fellows mentor students who aspire to similar roles and collaborate with renowned academic colleagues, exploring important issues pertaining to strategic decision-making and leadership development in public health.


Current and Recent Senior Leadership Fellows

Fall 1 2022: Roman Macaya, Ph.D., Executive President of the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (2018-2022) & Ambassador of Costa Rica to the United States (2014-2018)

Roman Macaya is a Costa Rican scientist, entrepreneur, diplomat, and public servant. Recently, he served as the executive president and chairman of the board of Costa Rican Social Security (CCSS), the institution that finances and provides universal public healthcare and manages the country’s largest pension fund. In this role, he led the healthcare response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to leading the CCSS, Macaya served as Costa Rica’s ambassador to the United States from 2014 through 2018. As ambassador, Macaya promoted science diplomacy in fields such as biomedical research, space, water, and biodiversity. He also strengthened cooperation in security, migratory matters, environmental conservation, and the arts, in addition to supporting foreign investment. Macaya worked with the White House, State Department, Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. Congress to strengthen Costa Rica´s capabilities in drug interdiction, resulting in the largest multi-year appropriations for Costa Rica in over 30 years.

If you have any questions related to the Menschel Senior Leadership Fellowship program, please contact Eric Andersen, Director (eandersen@hsph.harvard.edu) or Salif Mangane, Senior Program Coordinator (smangane@hsph.harvard.edu).

Spring 2 2022: Dr. Kelechi Ohiri – Chief Executive Officer, Health Strategy and Delivery Foundation (HSDF

Dr. Kelechi Ohiri is the Chief Executive Officer of the HSDF, a Healthcare Advisory Firm and a Visiting Scientist at Harvard University. He is also the Founder of the Healthcare Leadership Academy and Partner at Flint Atlantic — an Africa-focused Social Impact Investment Firm.

He previously served as the Special Adviser to the Minister of Finance as well as two Ministers of Health in Nigeria. Prior to this, he was an Engagement Manager with the London Office of McKinsey and Company, where he served clients in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He also worked with the World Bank Group in Washington DC, having joined through the Young Professionals Programme. His focus was on Social Protection and strengthening Health Systems in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Dr. Ohiri has written policy papers, peer-reviewed publications and co-authored books on Health systems. He has served on expert advisory committees for the Institute of Medicine, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Bank, the Global Fund and the World Health Organization. He served on the Board of the World Health Organization’s Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research and was an Adviser to AMREF’s Innovate for Life Initiative supporting healthcare innovators across Africa. He is currently a member of the Program and Policy Committee of the GAVI Board.

Dr. Ohiri earned a medical degree from the University of Lagos. He also holds a Master of Public Health degree and a Master of Science in Health Policy and Management, both from Harvard University. He is a Desmond Tutu Fellow of the African Leadership Institute and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

Spring 1 2022: Mayor Stephen K. Benjamin, Mayor of Columbia, SC (2010-2022)

Mayor Stephen K. Benjamin, who served for more than a decade as mayor of Columbia, S.C., will serve as the Richard L. and Ronay A. Menschel Senior Leadership Fellow for our Spring 1 term. The dates of his fellowship will be January 24-March 11, 2022.

Mayor Benjamin, a past president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, will teach a course in health policy and leadership. In each class, he will share his approach to tackling a different challenge, including the Covid-19 pandemic, gun violence, climate resilience, and racial justice.

During his tenure as mayor from 2010 to 2021, Mr. Benjamin drew national attention for several of his priority initiatives. Among them:
  • His “Justice for All” initiative sought to improve accountability and build trust between law enforcement and local residents. Steps included founding a citywide Human Rights Commission and appointing civilian representation to the police department’s internal affairs review board.
  • In 2017, Columbia became the first city in the nation to ban bump stocks, which enable semiautomatic weapons to fire more rapidly.
  • The city responded to the financial impact of COVID-19 with a comprehensive economic plan that included forgivable loans to small businesses. Mr. Benjamin also moved forcefully to protect his constituents’ health with an indoor mask mandate.

 Fall 1 2021: Dr. Subramaniam Sathasivam, Minister of Health of Malaysia (2013-2018)

Dr. S. Subramaniam was the former Member of Parliament in the Malaysian House of Representatives from 2004 to 2018. From 2004 to 2008, he was appointed as the Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Housing and Local Government. Subsequently, he was appointed as the Minister of Human Resources of Malaysia from 2008 to 2013 and eventually as the Malaysian Minister of Health from 2013 to 2018. Under the Human Resources Ministry, Dr. Subramaniam was instrumental in the introduction of minimum wage in Malaysia and brought forward many reforms to protect workers in Malaysia. Subsequently as the Health Minister, he led a major move to bring out transformations to the health system particularly aimed at addressing the issues of non-communicable diseases and sustainability of health financing. He was also the Vice President of the World Health Organization and the Chairman of the Western Pacific Regional Office of the World Health Organization. He has spoken in many international forums in particular the World Economic Forum, World Health Assembly, Regional Health Assembly, Harvard Ministerial Discussion Seminars and at the EATS foundation forums. Dr. Subramaniam is a medical doctor by training who graduated from the National University Singapore and is a consultant dermatologist who was trained in the United Kingdom and Ireland. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland, Fellow of The Academy of Medicine Malaysia and honorary Fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. He is married to Dr. Umarani, a clinical biochemist in Malaysia, and has three children.