Surgeon General Dr. Vivek H. Murthy. Dr. Murthy was confirmed by the US Senate in March 2021 to serve as the 21st Surgeon General of the United States as a returning role. As the Nation’s Doctor, the Surgeon General’s mission is to restore trust by relying on the best scientific information available, providing clear, consistent guidance and resources for the public, and ensuring that we reach our most vulnerable communities. As the Vice Admiral of the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, Dr. Murthy commands a uniformed service of 6,000 dedicated public health officers, serving the most underserved and vulnerable populations domestically and abroad.
During his previous tenure as 19th Surgeon General, Dr. Murthy has created initiatives to tackle our country’s most pressing public health challenges. As America's Doctor, he helped lead the national response to a range of health challenges, including the Ebola and Zika viruses, the opioid crisis, and the growing threat of stress and loneliness to Americans' physical and mental wellbeing.
Prior to his tenure as Surgeon General, Dr. Murthy co-founded VISIONS, a global HIV/AIDS education organization; the Swasthya Project, a rural health partnership that trained women in South India to become community health workers and educators; TrialNetworks, a technology company dedicated to improving collaboration and efficiency in clinical trials; and Doctors for America, a nonprofit mobilizing physicians, and medical students to improve access to affordable care. A renowned physician, research scientist, entrepreneur, and author of the bestselling book Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World, Dr. Murthy is among the most trusted voices in America on matters of public health. He lives in Washington, DC with his wife, Dr. Alice Chen, and their two children.
Heather McGhee, distinguished Senior Fellow and former President of Demos. A renowned expert in the American economy, Heather McGhee is one of the most brilliant and influential thinkers exploring inequality today. Both her viral TED talk (viewed over a million times) and her instant New York Times bestseller
The Sum of Us reveal the devastating true cost of racism—not just for people of color, but for everyone. Her deeply personal experiences come together in
The Sum Of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and
How We Can Prosper Together. Hailed as “illuminating and hopeful,” the critically acclaimed,
TheSum of Us spent 10 weeks on The New York Times bestseller list and will soon be adapted into a Spotify podcast series by Michelle and Barack Obama.
For nearly two decades, McGhee helped build the non-partisan “think and do” tank Demos, serving four years as president. Under her leadership, Demos moved their original idea for “debt-free college” into the center of the 2016 presidential debate, argued before the Supreme Court to protect voting rights in January 2018, and provided expert testimony to Congressional committees, including a Supreme Court confirmation hearing. An influential voice in the media and an NBC contributor, McGhee regularly appears on NBC’s
Meet the Press and MSNBC’s
Morning Joe, Deadline White House, and
All In. Her opinions, writing, and research have appeared in numerous outlets. McGhee holds a BA in American Studies from Yale University and a JD from the University of California at Berkeley School of Law. She is the Chair of the Board of Color of Change, the country’s largest online racial justice organization, and serves on multiple other boards of trustees, including the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and Demos. For the latest updates on Heather’s writing, speeches, and media appearances,
visit her website.
Brandon Stanton, Photographer and Creator of the popular website HONY (Humans of New York), shares his journey of personal growth and discovery, and uncovers the stories behind the stories featured on Humans of New York, powerfully illustrating the value of sharing your experiences. As the founder of the street portrait blog, Humans of New York, Brandon has emerged as a worldwide Internet phenomenon and one of today’s most influential storytellers. With millions of social media followers, his individual story, like those on HONY, illustrates the power of the Internet, the value of storytelling, and our desire to remain connected with real people in a tech-driven world. Brandon’s gift for storytelling has since spawned two best-selling books,
Humans of New York, which spent 45 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list, and
Humans of New York: Stories. On stage, he candidly shares his own personal story, and the perspective he has gained since embarking on his journey to help others tell theirs. Listeners take away a renewed appreciation for the power of one person and one idea to inspire millions, and encouragement to be a force for good and contribute something meaningful to the world. During his keynote, Brandon will be in conversation with three exceptional health care workers, sharing their lived experiences.
Donald M. Berwick, MD, MPP, FRCP, KBE is President Emeritus and Senior Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) an organization he co-founded and led as President and CEO for 19 years. He is one of the nation’s leading authorities on health care quality and improvement. In July 2010, President Obama appointed Dr. Berwick to the position of Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which he held until December 2011. A pediatrician by background, Dr. Berwick has served as Clinical Professor of Pediatrics and Health Care Policy at the Harvard Medical School, Professor of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health, and as a member of the staffs of Boston’s Children’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He has also served as vice chair of the US Preventive Services Task Force, the first “Independent Member” of the Board of Trustees of the American Hospital Association, and chair of the National Advisory Council of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. He is an elected member of the American Philosophical Society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Medicine (NAM, formerly the Institute of Medicine, or IOM). Dr. Berwick served two terms on the IOM’s governing Council, was a member of the IOM’s Global Health Board, and currently chairs the NAM Board on Health Care Services. He served on President Clinton’s Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Healthcare Industry. His numerous awards include the 2007 William B. Graham Prize for Health Services Research, the 2006 John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award, and the 2007 Heinz Award for Public Policy. In 2005, he was appointed Honourary Knight Commander of the British Empire by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the highest honor in the UK for non-UK citizens. He is the author or co-author of more than 200 scientific articles and six books. He also currently serves as Lecturer in the Department of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School.
Kedar Mate, MD is President and Chief Executive Officer at IHI, President of the IHI Lucian Leape Institute, and a member of the faculty at Weill Cornell Medical College. His scholarly work has focused on health system design, health care quality, strategies for achieving large-scale change, and approaches to improving value. Previously Dr. Mate worked at Partners In Health, the World Health Organization, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and served as IHI’s Chief Innovation and Education Officer. He has published numerous peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and white papers and has received multiple honors, including serving as a Soros Fellow, Fulbright Specialist, Zetema Panelist, and an Aspen Institute Health Innovators Fellow. Dr. Mate graduated from Brown University with a degree in American History and from Harvard Medical School with a medical degree. You can follow him on Twitter at
IHI Scientific Symposium Keynote
Marcella Nunez-Smith, MD, MHS, Senior Advisor to the White House COVID-19 Response Team and Chair of the Presidential COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force. Dr. Nunez-Smith is Associate Dean for Health Equity Research; C.N.H. Long Professor of Medicine, Public Health, and Management; and Founding Director of the Equity Research and Innovation Center (ERIC) in the Office for Health Equity Research at Yale School of Medicine. ERIC’s research focuses on promoting health and healthcare equity for structurally marginalized populations with an emphasis on centering community engagement, supporting healthcare workforce diversity and development, developing patient reported measurements of healthcare quality, and identifying regional strategies to reduce the global burden of non-communicable diseases.
Dr. Nunez-Smith currently serves as Senior Advisor to the White House COVID-19 Response Team and Chair of the Presidential COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force at the Department of Health and Human Services. Previously, she served as co-chair of the Biden-Harris Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board and community committee chair for the ReOpen Connecticut Advisory Group on behalf of Connecticut Governor Lamont. She is the principal investigator on several NIH and foundation-funded grants. Dr. Nunez-Smith is also Director of the Center for Research Engagement (CRE); Associate Director for Community Outreach and Engagement at the Yale Cancer Center; Chief Health Equity Officer at Smilow Cancer Hospital; Deputy Director of the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation; Core Faculty in the National Clinician Scholars Program; Director of the Pozen-Commonwealth Fund Fellowship in Health Equity Leadership; and Co-Director of the Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship. Dr. Nunez-Smith is board certified in internal medicine, having completed residency training at Harvard University’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital and fellowship at the Yale Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program, where she also received a Masters in Health Sciences. Originally from the US Virgin Islands, she attended Jefferson Medical College, where she was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society; she earned a BA in Biological Anthropology and Psychology at Swarthmore College.