Paul Farmer is a medical anthropologist and physician who has dedicated his life to improving health care for the world's poorest people. He is a founding director of Partners In Health (PIH), an international nonprofit organization that provides direct health care services and research and advocacy activities on behalf of those who are sick and living in poverty.
Dr. Farmer began his lifelong commitment to Haiti in 1983 while he was a Duke student, working with dispossessed farmers in Haiti's Central Plateau. His interest led to the creation of PIH, which has expanded its operations to 12 sites in Haiti and to 12 other countries around the globe. The group has been widely praised for its work providing health care for poor communities worldwide, as illustrated inTracy Kidder’s best-selling book “Mountains Beyond Mountains.”
Dr. Farmer graduated from Duke University in 1982, summa cum laude, with a bachelor's degree in medical anthropology. He went on to earn M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard University, where he is now the Presley Professor of Social Medicine and chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He is also chief of the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and the United Nations Deputy Special Envoy for Haiti, under Special Envoy Bill Clinton.