April 11, 2023

Appointment of Harsha Thirumurthy, PhD, as Interim Health Policy Division Chief effective April 1, 2023.

MEHP is delighted to announce the appointment of Harsha Thirumurthy, PhD, Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, as Interim Health Policy Division Chief effective April 1, 2023. He succeeds Kevin Volpp, MD, PhD, who served as Founding Division Chief for the past nine years. During that time, Dr. Volpp worked with Prof. Ezekiel Emanuel to create a Health Policy Division that is nationally recognized for high impact scholarship on improving health and health care. Dr. Volpp will continue his internationally renowned program of research and take on major new responsibilities in collaboration with the American Heart Association.

Prof. Thirumurthy is an economist who is Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy and Associate Director of the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics, where he leads global health initiatives. Since coming to Penn (and before), he has led an exceptionally impactful program of research focused on designing and evaluating interventions to reduce health risks and improve health outcomes in the Global South, with a particular emphasis on reducing risks of HIV transmission in sub-Saharan Africa. He is also Co-Director of the Penn Development Research Initiative, an interdisciplinary initiative that focuses on international development and brings together faculty and students from 7 schools at Penn. In addition, over the past two years, he has worked with Tangee Streeter, Laurie Norton, and Christina Roberto to lead the department’s efforts to advance anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion as Vice Chair of MEHP for ADEI. Outside Penn, Prof. Thirumurthy co-founded the Indlela behavioral science nudge unit and capacity building initiative in South Africa. He has also previously served as the Chair of the Population Sciences review panel at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

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