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Dr. Gavin Yamey to Deliver Keynote Address at 2023 Duke Jewish Baccalaureate Ceremony

Home Blog Dr. Gavin Yamey to Deliver Keynote Address at 2023 Duke Jewish Baccalaureate Ceremony

Infusing Science and Public Health with the Jewish Concept of Tikkun Olam

headshot of Professor Gavin Yamey

Jewish Life at Duke is delighted to announce that Professor Gavin Yamey will deliver the 2023 Duke Jewish Baccalaureate Ceremony keynote address. 

Gavin Yamey MD, MPH, MA is the Founder and Director of the Center for Policy Impact in Global Health. Based in the Duke Global Health Institute (DGHI), the Center is an innovative policy lab that addresses critical challenges in financing and delivering global health. He is the Hymowitz Professor of the Practice of Global Health at DGHI and a Professor of the Practice of Public Policy in the Duke Sanford School of Public Policy.

Dr. Yamey is also the Associate Director for Policy at DGHI and is on the core faculty of the Duke Margolis Center for Health Policy and affiliate faculty of Duke Science and Society. Additionally, Dr. Yamey is the Faculty Director for the Duke Global Policy (DGP) Program in Geneva, and leads the global health track in the DGP program. He also serves on the advisory board of the World Food Policy Center at Duke.

Dr. Yamey trained in clinical medicine at Oxford University and University College London, medical journalism and editing at the BMJ and public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He was Deputy Editor of the Western Journal of Medicine, Assistant Editor at the BMJ, a founding Senior Editor of PLOS Medicine, and the Principal Investigator on a $1.1 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support the launch of PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases. In 2009, he was awarded a Kaiser Family Mini-Media Fellowship in Global Health Reporting to examine the barriers to scaling up low-cost, low-tech health tools in Sudan, Uganda, and Kenya.

Dr. Yamey has served as a commissioner on three previous Lancet commissions: the Lancet Commission on Tuberculosis, the Lancet Commission on Investing in Health, and the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery. He is currently a commissioner on the Lancet-SIGHT Commission on Peaceful Societies Through Health and Gender Equality, and he chairs the international advisory committee to the Lancet Commission on Global Hearing Loss. He co-chairs the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health’s Finance and Economics Working Group. 

He has been an External Advisor to the WHO and to TDR, the Special Program for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases. Dr. Yamey has published extensively on global health, neglected diseases, health policy, and disparities in health, has been a frequent commentator on National Public Radio, and is a columnist for TIME magazine. He has written widely for popular media, including the Washington Post and USA Today. He was published over 200 articles in peer-reviewed journals.

Before joining Duke, Dr. Yamey led the Evidence-to-Policy Initiative in the Global Health Group at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and was an Associate Professor of Epidemiology & Biostatistics at the UCSF School of Medicine.

A beloved professor at Duke, Dr. Yamey is also a member of the Duke Jewish community and looks forward to marking this special occasion with graduating students and their families. 

“It’s a great honor to deliver the keynote address at the 2023 Duke Jewish Baccalaureate Ceremony,” shared Dr. Yamey. “In my address, I will reflect on these last three pandemic years, and share my thoughts on ‘science and public health tikkun’—repairing the world through the kinds of scientific cooperation and public health activism that have equity and justice at their core.”

Tikkun olam, Hebrew for “world repair,” is a Jewish concept that connotes social action and the pursuit of social justice, referring to idea that the world is profoundly broken and can be fixed only by human activity.

About the Jewish Baccalaureate Ceremony:

Jewish Life at Duke is excited to host the 40th annual Jewish Baccalaureate Ceremony for graduating Jewish seniors and their families at the Freeman Center this spring on May 12, 2023. Remarks by Jewish Life at Duke leadership and students, a keynote speech, blessings, and presentation of gifts are included. As our graduates prepare to embark on their next chapter, we look forward to celebrating their time at Duke and their many contributions to our Jewish community. Class of 2023 students, families, and friends, and members of the Duke community, can RSVP here. The first Jewish Baccalaureate at Duke started as a walk-out protest by a handful of Duke seniors in 1983. Forty years later, it has since transformed into an annual ceremony to recognize and celebrate the contribution of graduating students to Duke’s Jewish community, taking place in the home for Jewish Life at Duke, the Freeman Center. Read the whole story here.

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About Jewish Life at Duke

Jewish Life at Duke (JLD) is the hub for all things Jewish on Duke’s campus. An accredited Hillel as well as a department within Duke University’s Division of Student Affairs, Jewish Life at Duke is guided by a mission to empower Jewish students to learn and grow intellectually and spiritually; to inspire and nurture personal paths to Jewish identity; and to cultivate community and friendship. Comprising the Freeman Center for Jewish Life and the Rubenstein-Silvers Hillel, JLD takes a pluralistic approach to Judaism to ensure that all Jewish students, regardless of affiliation, are welcome and included.

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