Ashish K. Jha, MD, MPH. Headshot
Report a problem with this profile
[email protected]

Ashish K. Jha, MD, MPH.      

Dean of Brown University School of Public Health

A global leader driving public health research, policy, and practice, Dr. Jha is a trusted expert on major issues impacting public health, and a catalyst for new thinking and approaches. As a long-time leader on pandemic preparedness and response, from directing groundbreaking research on Ebola to serving on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response, he has led national and international analysis of key issues and advised local and federal policy makers around the world.

President Joe Biden appointed Dr. Jha as White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator in March 2022, describing him as “one of the leading public health experts in America.” At the White House, Dr. Jha led the work that increased the development of and access to treatments and newly formulated vaccines, dramatically improved testing and surveillance, facilitated major investments in indoor air quality measures, and put in place an infrastructure to respond to current and future disease outbreaks more effectively.

Dr. Jha received bipartisan praise for his pragmatic approach to public health that, in the words of President Biden, “translates…complex scientific challenges into concrete actions” that help improve millions of lives.

An accomplished and practicing physician, Dr. Jha joined the Brown School of Public Health as dean in September 2020. Before joining the Brown School of Public Health, Dr. Jha was a faculty member at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health since 2004 and at Harvard Medical School since 2005. He was the Faculty Director of the Harvard Global Health Institute from 2014 until September 2020. From 2018 to 2020, he also served as the Dean for Global Strategy at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. A general internist previously with the West Roxbury VA in Massachusetts, Dr. Jha has continued his practice at the Providence VA Medical Center.

Dr. Jha has published nearly three hundred original research publications in prestigious journals and has consistently been ranked in the top 1% of most cited researchers. He is also a frequent contributor to a range of public media across the political spectrum, focused on how science and evidence can be used to craft better policy and improve health both in the US and around the globe.

Dr. Jha was born in Pursaulia, Bihar, India in 1970. He moved to Toronto, Canada in 1979 and then to the United States in 1983. In 1992 Dr. Jha graduated Magna Cum Laude from Columbia University with a B.A. in economics. He received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1997 and then trained as a resident in Internal Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. He returned to Boston to complete his fellowship in General Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. In 2004, he completed his Master of Public Health degree at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Jha was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2013.

Speech Topics


What have we learned from COVID-19? What did the pandemic expose, and teach us, here and around the globe?

Is the US, the world, better prepared for future health crises?

  • Can we, will we, ensure that when future outbreaks happen, it doesn’t lead to loss of lives and livelihoods? If yes, how?
  • What is the responsibility of the private sector? The role of government? Our international obligations?
  • What does history tell us about post-pandemic changes that shape societies?


Runaway health care spending now threatens to sink our economy

  • Eating into wage growth while ballooning the costs of overall worker compensation; bad for workers and businesses
  • Swallowing state budgets, forcing deep cuts in other essential services and priorities
  • Straining federal budget

What’s driving these rising costs?

Why do policymakers keep getting the solutions wrong?

And what is the agenda for action?

  • What can policymakers do? What about businesses? Individuals?


Climate change is often seen as an environmental problem, which of course it is. But, It is also the most urgent, overlooked threat to health.

The connection is real, immediate, and deadly.

How climate change impacts health:

  • Drought => Famine => Migration => Disease spread
  • More respiratory illness
  • Heat-related illness

Solutions demand new connections between scientists and policy makers. Beyond reducing carbon pollution, what should healthcare systems be doing?

  • Mitigation by healthcare systems – reducing their own footprint
  • Understanding how climate change is going to drive big impacts on population health
  • Building climate resilient healthcare systems
  • Building climate sensitive population health strategies.
  • The role of governments, businesses and non-profit organizations in solutions


Artificial Intelligence and its Application to Medicine and Public Health

  • What are the major tools of AI that might actually be useful? How? When? Where?
  • What are the challenges of AI – to providers, patients, health care systems?
  • What are the risks that are not being adequately understood or captured?
  • The role of AI in transforming health and healthcare not just in the US but around the globe


  • COVID has taught us a lot about how we can keep people healthy at work
  • Respiratory infections – COVID, flu, RSV, and others have a large impact on worker health, missed days of work, etc.
  • When employees’ kids get sick at school, that can impact their work
  • We now have tools to effectively manage respiratory infections – during typical respiratory infection seasons as well during crisis times
  • The role of Indoor Air Quality in keeping people healthy
  • Other strategies such as testing and treatments that can make a big difference
  • Ultimately, this talk is focused on employers who understand typical respiratory seasons are disruptive and a bad season can be even more so – but we now have the tools to manage it far more effectively

Related Speakers View all

More like Ashish