Learn the principles guiding humanitarian response to modern emergencies, and the challenges faced in the field today.
Michael VanRooyen is the Director of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) at Harvard University and the Chairman of Emergency Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
Dr. VanRooyen has worked as an emergency physician with numerous relief organizations in over thirty countries affected by war and disaster, including Somalia, Bosnia, Rwanda, Iraq, North Korea, Darfur-Sudan, Chad and the Democratic Republic of Congo. He has worked in the field as a relief expert with several non-governmental organizations, and has been a policy advisor to several UN organizations and is a member of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Health Cluster. He also serves on the Board of Overseers for the International Rescue Committee. He has testified before Congress and at numerous UN briefings on policy issues related to Iraq, Darfur and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and served on a National Academies/GAO review of mortality in Darfur.
Domestically, Dr. VanRooyen worked with the American Red Cross to provide relief assistance at the site of the World Trade Center in New York on September 11th, 2001. He also helped to coordinate the American Red Cross public health response to Hurricane Katrina, and has worked as a physician with the US Secret Service, NASA and with the US Public Health Service with the Navajo and Apache tribes in Arizona and New Mexico, respectively.
Dr. VanRooyen is a Professor at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health, where he teaches courses on humanitarian operations in war and disaster. In 2012, he founded the Humanitarian Academy at Harvard, an educational program to advance humanitarian professionalism.