Jesse B Bump
Primary Faculty

Jesse B Bump

Lecturer on Global Health Policy

Global Health and Population

Other Positions

Executive Director, Takemi Program

Takemi Program in International Health

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health


Jesse B. Bump is Executive Director of the Takemi Program in International Health and Lecturer on Global Health Policy in the Department of Global Health and Population at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and a Member of the Bergen Center for Ethics and Priority Setting at the University of Bergen. He holds an AB in Astronomy and History from Amherst College, a PhD in the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology from Johns Hopkins University, and an MPH from Harvard University.

The overarching goal of Bump's research is to analyze the evolution of ideas and institutions that promote better societal performance in health. His work has focused on the special opportunities to build health systems and advance social protections during and after widespread disruption by infectious disease epidemics, colonial extraction, conflict, industrialization, globalization, and other processes. Using historical and political economy perspectives, Bump investigates how and when societies develop ways to understand and manage the largest threats to lives and livelihoods. His multi-disciplinary work leverages deeply historical scholarship with social science theories and methods to produce strategies for the present and future.

At the national level, he has examined how governments, citizens, and the private sector organize around health objectives, including environmental protections, epidemic responses, disease surveillance, universal health coverage, and related public health institutions. At the global level, he has studied the development of international organizations, analyzed their political economy, and advanced the struggle to make them more fair, more accountable, and more effective. Bump has collaborated with leading institutions to address some of the most significant issues in global health, including designing more equitable methods for setting priorities and allocating resources, developing strategies for managing the political economy of health reform, and navigating the politics of building institutions for public health. His research projects have generated solutions in many focused areas, as well, such as tobacco control, diarrheal diseases, onchocerciasis, congenital syphilis, and nutrition governance. Bump is an award-winning teacher and passionate advocate for his students. He offers popular courses on the history and political economy of global health and has delivered dozens of invited lectures around the world.



Public health history course holds lessons for today

A new course at Harvard Chan School focuses on the history of public health, highlighting longstanding issues such as vaccine hesitancy, how life expectancy has been measured and used, tensions in the relationship between the fields of public…

A call to end visa discrimination

Last year, there were several high-profile instances of health professionals from Africa being denied visas to enter countries that were hosting global health conferences they’d been invited to. In response, there have been increasing calls to hold the…

Preparing for future pandemics by learning from the past

October 3, 2018—In past pandemics, infrastructure failures and problematic language in the media have undercut efforts to contain disease, according to Harvard’s Allan Brandt. Brandt, professor of the history of science and Amalie Moses Kass Professor of the…