Humanitarian Action Summit


The Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and the Harvard University Center for the Environment will host the 5th Humanitarian Action Summit on May 13-14, 2013. The Humanitarian Action Summit is a leading invitational meeting on critical issues in humanitarian aid, research, and policy. The 2013 Summit will bring together a select group of prominent researchers and practitioners with strategic level leaders from the climate science, humanitarian, and development communities, international NGOs, UN agencies, federal agencies and donors.

The 2013 Humanitarian Action Summit will provide a platform to explore approaches to addressing the human and material costs of climate change. Summit discussions will focus on the acute and chronic issues at the intersection of climate change and humanitarian action, including the impact of climate change on food security, forced migration, and conflict as well as the current technology, methods, and applications for monitoring and mapping climate change.

The Summit has the unique ability to cross organizational and disciplinary boundaries to serve a unique and critical role of advancing strategic humanitarian dialogue and promoting evidence based practice among the humanitarian community.

For more information, please contact Alexa Walls at or 617.384.5627


Rethinking Humanitarian Aid: Expert Panel Sponsored by Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

This panel will bring together experts from philanthropic and operational humanitarian organizations alongside leaders from the academic and policy spheres to discuss how humanitarian aid might be best organized, delivered and supported in light of resource constraints, evolving challenges, and novel technologies present today.  

Rethinking Humanitarian Aid panelists will discuss and respond to the paper “Philanthropic Grantmaking for Disasters: Lessons learned at the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.”


Click here to access the Summit agenda.

Summit Organizers

  • Michael VanRooyen
    Director, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative; Professor, Department of Global Health and Population; Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
  • Jennifer Leaning
    Bagnoud Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights; Director, Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights; Director, Inter-University Initiative on Humanitarian Studies and Field Practice; Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
  • Daniel Schrag
    Director, Harvard University Center for the Environment; Hooper Professor of Geology; Professor, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
  • Ronak Patel
    Director, Urbanization and Crises Program, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative; Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School


Published Reports


final version of 2011has report



2009 Humanitarian Action Summit Report


2007 Humanitarian Health Conference Report


2006 Humanitarian Health Conference Report

Prehospital and Disaster Medicine (PDM), articles published in the July-August 2009 issue of the journal.