When pandemic H1N1 "swine flu" broke out this spring, Frenk was in the thick of discussions by the Mexican government, the World Health Organization and governments and organizations worldwide in his roles as the current dean at Harvard School of Public Health and the former minister of health in Mexico.
In Mexico, he also oversaw the design and implementation of a successful reform to achieve universal health insurance by covering more than 50 million uninsured persons. The reform also established a new public health agency and strengthened epidemiological surveillance with the aim of protecting the population against health threats.
These experiences enable Frenk to provide a unique perspective on the lessons he believes the United States can learn from other countries about health reform, universal health care and the ever-present threat pandemics pose to health and economies.
Dr. Frenk is an eminent authority on global health who served as the Minister of Health of Mexico from 2000 to 2006. He pursued an ambitious agenda to reform the nation’s health system, with an emphasis on redressing social inequality. On January 1, 2009, Dr. Frenk became Dean of the Faculty and T & G Angelopoulos Professor of Public Health and International Development at the Harvard School of Public Health. He joined the board of the Commonwealth Fund in July 2010.
He is perhaps best known for his work in introducing a program of comprehensive national health insurance, known as Seguro Popular, which expanded access to health care for tens of millions of previously uninsured Mexicans. He is currently Dean of the Harvard University School of Public Health.