Dr. John Whyte, Chief Medical Officer of WebMD and Medscape.

by Amrutha Denduluri

WebMD is one of the largest health information platforms in the United States. Championing the motto better information creates better health, the company’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr. John Whyte, emphasizes addressing gaps in effective communication and strategies to empower the public with trustworthy health information, which is especially critical in the year of COVID-19. Dr. Whyte is a board-certified internist who completed an internal medicine residency at Duke University Medical Center and received a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree in Health Policy and Management at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Prior to arriving in Washington…


Mayor Eric Garcetti, the 42nd Mayor of Los Angeles.
Mayor Eric Garcetti, the 42nd Mayor of Los Angeles.
Mayor Eric Garcetti, the 42nd Mayor of Los Angeles.

by Samantha Tracy

Stretching from the edge of the Pacific Ocean to the top of the Hollywood sign, Los Angeles (L.A.) is the second largest city in the United States with a population of nearly four million people. The sprawling metropolis has faced intense challenges grappling with the pressures of pandemic response, vaccine distribution, and systemic racism. With a rapidly declining COVID-19 case count, L.A. continues to lead the way in implementing preventative public health measures through equitable vaccine distribution.

On Friday, March 19, 2021, the Voices in Leadership webseries welcomed Mayor Eric Garcetti, the 42nd Mayor of Los Angeles, and Dr. Howard…


Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, the 60th Mayor of Atlanta

Written by Vanessa Beltran

The number of COVID-19 cases in the United States is approaching 200,000 per day. News outlets repeatedly report cities and towns that shatter the case record yet again. As the Color of Coronavirus project demonstrates, the communities impacted by the highest COVID-19 cases and death rates are Black, Indigenous, and Latinx. While the pandemic re-exposed long-existing health inequities, continued police violence against, and murders of, Black Americans also reinforced the reality of oppression embedded within U.S. culture and institutions. …


Sandra L. Fenwick, Chief Executive Officer of Boston Children’s Hospital

By Radhika Tampi

Much of the recent conversation surrounding children and COVID-19 has focused on school reopenings and whether children are responsible for transmitting SARS-CoV-2 to adults. But why have the media considered them only as vectors of disease? What about the effects of COVID-19 on children themselves? Speaking to the myriad health, economic, and social consequences of coronavirus on children and their families, Sandra L. Fenwick, CEO of Boston Children’s Hospital, shared her insight with the Voices in Leadership program on Tuesday, September 29, 2020.

Boston Children’s Hospital is ranked the number one pediatric hospital in the United States and is the…


Patrick L. Deval, 71st Governor of Massachusetts

By Ayah Mohammed Hamdan

“How should we try to understand the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Black and Brown populations?” In commencing the dissection of this complex, sobering topic, Governor Patrick Deval, the 71st Governor of Massachusetts uplifts the basic, foundational public health issues: generational housing insecurity, financial impoverishment, education inequities, social determinants of health, and the rejection of (the somehow still commonly-believed myth of) racial essentialism.

Interviewed by Dr. Sara Bleich, Professor of Public Health Policy and Management at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Governor Deval shed light…


Mayor Martin J. Walsh, the 54th Mayor of the City of Boston.

By Elizabeth Alpert

On June 24, 2020, the Voices in Leadership discussion between Mayor Marty Walsh and Dr. Michelle Williams spotlighted the role of leadership during a global pandemic and national reckoning with systemic racism. Mayor Walsh, the 54th Mayor of the City of Boston, declared racism to be an emergency and public health crisis in early June. Dr. Williams is Dean of the Faculty and Angelopoulos Professor in Public Health and International Development at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and has authored multiple articles on racism as a public health issue. …


Michelle A. Williams, SM ’88, ScD ’91, Dean of the Faculty at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Angelopoulos Professor in Public Health and International Development (Left), and Jeffrey R. Sánchez, former Massachusetts state representative and lecturer at Harvard Chan (Right).

By Mahaa M. Ahmed

The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed the lives of nearly 180,000 people in the United States. As the pandemic rages on, it has magnified the vast inequities that exist in our world. Early observations coupled with narratives from healthcare workers indicated that Black and Latinx individuals were being affected by COVID-19 at alarmingly higher rates. An overview of the racial inequities of the pandemic only further echoes this and finds that Black and Latinx people are at greater risk of contracting coronavirus than white people due to systemic conditions that have created environments where COVID-19 can spread. In the midst of…


Dr. Karl Lauterbach, Professor of Health Economics and Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Cologne in Germany, Member of the Deutsche Bundestag, and adjunct professor of Health Policy and Management.

by Miranda So

The current COVID-19 pandemic has affected nearly every country since it was first reported in China last December. Globally, the number of cases has surpassed 18 million, with a cumulative death toll of 700,000 as of August 4, 2020. Germany’s approach to handling this public health crisis has been hailed as one of the most successful. Thus far, it has largely managed to limit the spread of SARS-CoV-2. By June 1, 2020 it had recorded 181,815 cases and 8,511 deaths. Germany’s mortality rate is among the lowest in Europe and the world, estimated at 11.1 deaths per 100,000 population (current…


Dr. Patricia J. García, Research Professor at the School of Public Health at Cayetano Heredia University (UPCH) in Lima, Peru and former Minister of Health of Peru (2016–2017)

By Anshu Shroff

Perú has the second-highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Latin America. This is despite the fact that the country was the first in the region to order a lockdown and roll out economic packages to its citizens. Its socio-economic context has played a significant role in its setbacks, despite good leadership and a great start.

Dr. Patricia J. García, Perú’s former minister of health and a global leader on public health issues, currently chairs a commission that advises the health ministry on technological innovations to COVID-19 responses. She works with 16 scientists, molecular biologists, and engineers to advise the…


Dr. Subramaniam Sathasivam, Malaysian Minister of Health (2013–2018) and Minister of Human Resources of Malaysia (2008–2013)

By Kristina Lyons

Not too long ago, protests in the wake of the murder of more Black Americans by the U.S. police dominated news headlines, while the COVID-19 pandemic carried on, reaching record highs of global daily tallies of cases. Many communities around the world, already challenged with finding a balance between public health and economic interests as stay-at-home restrictions eased, have faced attempts to curtail the spread of COVID-19 while holding governments and their actors accountable via the right to protest. …

Voices in Leadership

Voices in Leadership webcast series enhances leadership, connecting high-profile leaders with the Harvard School of Public Health community. hsph.me/voices

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