Press Releases   |    In the News   |    Op-Eds   |    Transcripts   |    Multimedia

Press Releases

Secretary-General Appoints Paul Farmer of United States Special Adviser for Community-Based Medicine and Lessons from Haiti

New York, 28 December 2012 - Further to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s announcement at the launch of the initiative for the elimination of cholera in Haiti on 11 December, he has appointed Paul Farmer of the United States as his Special Adviser for Community-based Medicine and Lessons from Haiti.

As Special Adviser, Dr. Farmer will work closely with all key partners to help galvanize support for the elimination of cholera in Haiti. He will also use the data gathered from the Office of the Special Envoy for Haiti to advise on lessons learned and how those can be applied in Haiti and other settings.

Bringing a wealth of experience to his new appointment, including his work at Harvard University, where he is Chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine and Chief of the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Dr. Farmer was awarded Harvard’s highest distinction in 2010 for his pioneering humanitarianism and scholarship. He is a founding director of Partners in Health, an international non-profit organization that provides direct health-care services and undertakes research and advocacy activities on behalf of the sick and those living in poverty. He has also pioneered novel community-based treatment strategies that successfully show that quality health care can be delivered in resource-poor settings.

Dr. Farmer served as Deputy Special Envoy for Haiti from 2009 to 2012, in which capacity he supported Special Envoy Bill Clinton and the people of Haiti in implementing the Government of Haiti’s priorities for the recovery effort. A recipient of numerous awards and honours, Dr. Farmer is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, and was recently elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

He was educated at Duke University and Harvard Medical School in the United States, and holds an MD and a PhD from Harvard.

Born in 1959, he is married and has three children.