Julio Frenk, MD, MPH, PhD, was elected to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Board of Trustees in October 2014, effective January 2015.
Frenk, a leading international figure in public health, is president of the University of Miami. Previously he was dean of the faculty at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Frenk served as minister of health of Mexico from 2000 to 2006, where he pursued an ambitious agenda to reform the nation’s health system and introduced comprehensive universal health insurance, known as Seguro Popular, which expanded access to health care for tens of millions of previously uninsured Mexicans. He was the founding director-general of the National Institute of Public Health in Mexico, one of the most influential institutions of health education and research in the developing world, and in 1998 joined the World Health Organization (WHO) as executive director in charge of Evidence and Information for Policy, WHO’s first unit explicitly charged with developing a scientific foundation for health policy to achieve better outcomes. Frenk has also held leadership positions at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Carso Health Institute, in Mexico City. In 2008 he received the Clinton Global Citizen Award for “changing the way practitioners and policy makers across the world think about health.”
Frenk holds a medical degree from the National University of Mexico, and a master’s degree in public health and a joint doctorate in medical care organization and in sociology from the University of Michigan. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Medicine of Mexico.
In addition to publishing more than 140 scholarly articles in academic journals, as well as many books and book chapters, Frenk has written two best-selling novels for children explaining the functions of the human body.