A fourth-generation physician whose paternal grandparents fled Germany in the early 1930s to build a new life in Mexico, Julio Frenk catalyzed his deep gratitude for the kindness of strangers into a lifelong mission to improve the health, education, and well-being of people around the world.
Dr. Frenk became the sixth president of the University of Miami on August 16, 2015. He also holds academic appointments as Professor of Public Health Sciences at the Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine and as Professor of Health Sector Management and Policy at the School of Business Administration.
Prior to joining the University of Miami, he was the dean of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the T & G Angelopoulos Professor of Public Health and International Development, a joint appointment with the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
Julio Frenk served as the Minister of Health of Mexico from 2000 to 2006. There he pursued an ambitious agenda to reform the nation’s health system and introduced a program of comprehensive universal coverage, known as Seguro Popular, which expanded access to health care for more than 55 million previously uninsured Mexicans.
He was the founding director-general of the National Institute of Public Health in Mexico, one of the leading institutions of its kind in the developing world. He also served as executive director in charge of Evidence and Information for Policy at the World Health Organization and as senior fellow in the global health program of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, among other leadership positions.
Dr. Frenk holds a medical degree from the National University of Mexico, as well as a master of public health and a joint Ph.D. in Medical Care Organization and in Sociology from the University of Michigan. He has received honorary degrees from six universities.
His scholarly production, which includes over 160 articles in academic journals, as well as many books and book chapters, has been cited more than 13,000 times. In addition, he has written three best-selling novels for youngsters explaining the functions of the human body.
He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the U.S. National Academy of Medicine, and the National Academy of Medicine of Mexico, and is on the board of the United Nations Foundation. In 2008, he was a recipient of the Clinton Global Citizen Award for changing “the way practitioners and policy makers across the world think about health.”