Mary Travis Bassett
Professor

Mary Travis Bassett

Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights

FXB Center

mbassett@hsph.harvard.edu

Other Positions

Director of the Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights

FXB Center

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health


Overview

Mary T. Bassett is the Director of the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University, as well as the FXB Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights at the Harvard School of Public Health. With more than 30 years of experience in public health, Dr. Mary Travis Bassett has dedicated her career to advancing health equity. Prior to her directorship at the FXB Center, Dr. Bassett served for four years as commissioner of Health for New York City. As commissioner, she worked to ensure that every New York City neighborhood supported the health of its residents, with the goal of closing gaps in population health across the city.

Originally from New York City, Dr. Bassett lived in Zimbabwe for nearly 20 years. Previously, she was the Program Director for the African Health Initiative and the Child Well-being Program at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. She received her B.A. in History and Science from Harvard University and her M.D. from Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons. She served her medical residency at Harlem Hospital Center, and has a master's degree in Public Health from the University of Washington, where she was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar.


Bibliography

Public policy and health in the Trump era.

Woolhandler S, Himmelstein DU, Ahmed S, Bailey Z, Bassett MT, Bird M, Bor J, Bor D, Carrasquillo O, Chowkwanyun M, Dickman SL, Fisher S, Gaffney A, Galea S, Gottfried RN, Grumbach K, Guyatt G, Hansen H, Landrigan PJ, Lighty M, McKee M, McCormick D, McGregor A, Mirza R, Morris JE, Mukherjee JS, Nestle M, Prine L, Saadi A, Schiff D, Shapiro M, Tesema L, Venkataramani A.

Lancet. 2021 Feb 20. 397(10275):705-753. PMID: 33581802


News

Experts: Reparations could help address health inequities

With COVID-19 highlighting the health disparities between Black and white Americans, a growing number of public health experts are calling for cash reparations to address the inequities. “Cash restitution would save lives,” said Mary Bassett, François-Xavier Bagnoud Professor…

A call for scientists to fight health inequity

A panel discussion focused on health disparities and the work of the Poor People’s Campaign, a nonpartisan social justice movement that mobilizes low-income people to be agents of social change.

Perspective: How Black reparations could end health disparities

Black reparations for slavery are a long-overdue approach to mitigating persistent disparities between Blacks and whites in the United States, according to a Perspective article in the New England Journal of Medicine co-authored by Harvard Chan School’s Mary…