Humanitarianism At Harvard
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Frederick "Skip" M. Burkle, Jr., MD, MPH, DTM, FAAP, FACEP
- Visiting Scientist, Harvard School of Public Health
- Senior Public Policy Scholar, Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars
- Professor, Department of Community Emergency Health, Monash University Medical School
- Senior Associate Faculty, Department of International Health, Center for Refugee & Disaster Response, Johns Hopkins University
- Adjunct Professor, Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences
Professor Burkle is Senior Fellow & Scientist, the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, Harvard School of Public Health and former Senior Scholar and now Senior Associate Faculty and Research Scientist, the Center for Refugee & Disaster Response, Johns Hopkins University Medical Institutes. He also serves as a Senior International Public Policy Scholar, Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, Washington, DC (2008-present). From 2002-03 he served as Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Bureau of Global Health at US Agency for International Development, US Department of State. From 1989 to 2000, he was Professor of Pediatrics, Surgery and Public Health and Chairman of the Division of Emergency Medicine, Department of Surgery, University of Hawaii Schools of Medicine and Public Health. He served as Professor, Department of Community Emergency Health & Paramedic Practice, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing & Health Sciences, Monash University Medical School, Melbourne, Australia from 2006-2010 and is currently an Adjunct Professor; and, as a Clinical Professor of Surgery and Adjunct Professor in Tropical Medicine at the University of Hawaii. He is Adjunct Professor, Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland. He served as the Senior Advisor in Medicine and Public Health for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and as a Research Scientist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
He is a graduate of Saint Michael's College (1961) and the University of Vermont College of Medicine (1965). Dr. Burkle holds post-graduate degrees from Yale, Harvard, Dartmouth, the University of California at Berkeley, a Diploma from the University of Geneva, Switzerland, in Health Emergencies in Large Populations, and a Diploma In Tropical Medicine from the Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland. He is qualified in Emergency Medicine, Pediatrics, Pediatric Emergency Medicine, and Psychiatry and holds a Master's Degree in Public Health. He is a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians and the American Academy of Pediatrics, and received the Emergency Physician of the Year Award in 1999 from the Governor of Hawaii. Dr. Burkle was the founder and Director of the Center of Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance from 1994-2000 a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center for humanitarian civil-military cooperation, the only one so designated.
Professor Burkle has published over 200 scientific articles, abstracts and multiple book chapters, four books, three on disaster management including Disaster Medicine a sentinel text on the emergency response to disasters (1984). He has worked in and consulted on numerous humanitarian emergencies and large-scale international disasters in Asia, Africa, Middle East and Eastern Europe and serves as an International Health Delegate to the Red Cross. He served as Joint Civil-Military Liaison for the Kurdish Crisis in southern Turkey, northern Iraq, and Baghdad, and again in the humanitarian crisis in Somalia where he also served as a UN Delegate to the 3rd Somalia Conference in Ethiopia. In 1996, he headed a global health assessment for the International Rescue Committee in the former Yugoslavia, Central Africa, Thai-Cambodia Border, Asia and Pakistan and in 1999 was a member of the Presidential Delegation to Kosovo. In 2003 he served the US State Department as the Senior Medical Officer in Iraq on the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) for the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance. He also served as the Interim Minister of Health in Iraq during the planning and relief phase of the crisis in 2003, as Senior Advisor for WHO on Health Emergencies in Liberia, and currently as a consultant for WHO-Health Action in Crises. He is presently the elected Chair of the National Disaster Life Support Consortium of the American Medical Association and a member of the Science Advisory Board of the National American Red Cross, Washington, DC.
Dr. Burkle was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 2007, and named a Woodrow Wilson International Scholar in 2008. In 2009 he received an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters, Honoris Causis, from Saint Michaels College. He has received numerous "Excellence in Teaching" and humanitarian service awards. These include the prestigious William Crawford Gorgas Medal for "distinguished work in preventive medicine, groundbreaking work in disaster management and humanitarian assistance and the training of an entire generation of U.S. and international personnel”, the Colonel Donald G. Cook Award for Humanitarian Service, and the Humanitarian Award from the International Federation of Emergency Medicine. In 2005 he received the University of Vermont, College of Medicine Alumni Association Award for Community Service in Medicine for his “distinguished career in humanitarian and military service.” He is a frequent keynote and panel speaker at major universities and conferences, including WHO, The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the Council on Foreign Relations, Global Forum in Davos, and the World Bank. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Rescue Committee, the world's largest refugee NGO, headquartered in New York City and was their Executive Medical Director in 1999.
A retired Captain in the U.S. Naval Reserve he completed combat tours in the Vietnam (1968) and the Persian Gulf Wars with the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Marine Divisions, and with the US Central Command in Somalia. He received two early promotions and served as the Senior Medical Officer of the al Khanjar Trauma Center (largest trauma center ever built in the history of the US Marine Corps) during the 1991 Persian Gulf War. His awards include the Bronze Star Medal (2 awards) one with Combat "V", Combat Action Ribbon, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Citation (2 awards), Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, Vietnamese Meritorious Medical Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal (2 awards) and the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.