Partners In Health Announces Dr. Jim Yong Kim as Chancellor of the University of Global Health Equity in Rwanda
PIH co-founder will continue university’s legacy of academic excellence, drawing on his deep experience in health and education, including his term as President of Dartmouth College
Kigali, Rwanda (October 20, 2022) – Partners In Health (PIH) today announces the appointment of Jim Yong Kim, MD, Ph.D, as Chancellor of the University of Global Health Equity (UGHE), a position previously held by Dr. Kim’s friend and PIH co-founder, the late Dr. Paul Farmer.
UGHE is a PIH initiative launched in 2015 in collaboration with the Rwandan government, with catalytic funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Cummings Foundation. The university is located in Burera District, roughly 80 miles north of Kigali, the capital of Rwanda.
Last month, UGHE earned regional accreditation for its medical school. In September, PIH announced the formation of a scholarship fund in honor of the late Dr. Paul Farmer that will cover the tuition, room, board, and expenses of 3,000 medical students over the next 25 years.
“At a time of great sadness at the passing of my friend and colleague of 40 years, Dr. Paul Farmer, I am deeply honored to be entrusted with a role that he cherished so deeply,” said Dr. Kim. “I look forward to supporting the faculty, staff, and our next generation of caregivers in their efforts to bring what Paul called ‘expert mercy’ to those who need it the most.”
“For Jim to step forward during this transition is an incredible opportunity,” said Dr. Sheila Davis, CEO of Partners In Health. “He knows the university, how to lead, and of course the values that underscore PIH and UGHE—he was the first to elucidate and practice many of them.”
The UGHE curriculum focuses on the environmental, economic, and other structural forces that influence whether a person is healthy or ill, pairing education in fields such as global health policy with rigorous, community-based medical training.
“Jim’s work has been centered on global health equity and we are thrilled that he has agreed to step into the Chancellor role,” said Lesley King, Chair of the Board of Directors of UGHE. “UGHE is moving from startup mode into growth mode as we admit our fourth class of medical students and eighth cohort of master’s students.”
Dr. Kim, a physician and anthropologist, has a distinguished career in health, education, and improving the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable. He is vice chairman and partner at Global Infrastructure Partners, a fund that invests in infrastructure projects across several sectors around the world. From 2012 to 2019, he served as the 12th president of the World Bank Group; from 2009 to 2012, he served as the 17th president of Dartmouth College; and from 2003 to 2005, Dr. Kim served as Director of the World Health Organization’s HIV/AIDS department.
Additionally, Dr. Kim was Chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Chief of the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Director of the François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard School of Public Health. He received a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, was recognized as one of America’s “25 Best Leaders” by U.S. News & World Report, and was named one of TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World.”
Opened in January 2019, UGHE’s Butaro campus lies just two miles away from PIH-supported Butaro District Hospital, which serves as a referral and teaching hospital. The medical class of 2025 includes 20 women and 10 men, all from Rwanda, pursuing bachelor’s degrees in medicine and surgery in addition to master’s degrees in global health delivery, over six and a half years of study.
About Partners In Health
Founded in Haiti in 1987, Partners In Health (PIH) is a nonprofit social justice organization working to bring the benefits of modern medical science to those most in need. Some 30 years later, it has a documented history of implementing effective health delivery models in partnership with governments and academic institutions around the world, providing high-quality care to millions of patients. Learn more at www.pih.org.
About the University of Global Health Equity
The University of Global Health Equity (UGHE) is a health sciences university in Rwanda. An initiative of Partners In Health, UGHE is a private, not-for-profit, accredited institution founded in 2015, thanks in part to the visionary leadership of the Cummings Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Learn more at https://ughe.org/