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Richard Skolnik, MPA

Department of Global and Community Health

Richard Skolnik

Richard Skolnik has been involved in international development since the early 1970s and has played important roles in global health for 25 years. 

Richard works as an independent consultant on program design and evaluation activities in a number of areas of global health. 

Until November 2008, Richard was the Vice President for International Programs at the Population Reference Bureau. Earlier, he served as the Executive Director of the Harvard School of Public Health PEPFAR program for AIDS treatment in Botswana, Nigeria, and Tanzania. From 2001 to 2004, Richard was The Director of the Center for Global Health at The George Washington University, where he also taught undergraduate and graduate courses in global health. 

Richard worked at the World Bank from 1976 to 2001, last serving as the Director for Health and Education for the South Asia Region. Richard's health work at the World Bank focused on health systems development, family planning and reproductive health, child health, the control of communicable diseases, and nutrition in low-income countries. He was extensively engaged with TB, leprosy, and cataract blindness control projects in India that have been cited as important public health successes and with early HIV efforts in India that helped set the foundation for India's present HIV program. Richard also helped to develop and managed an array of important economic and sector studies at the World Bank, largely focused on health systems development, health systems financing, women's health, and nutrition. While at the Bank, Richard chaired a task force on the Bank's work on nutrition, coordinated the World Bank's TB and polio work, and was deeply involved in the establishment of the global STOP TB partnership. 

Richard has led two evaluations of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative and also led evaluations of the Global Alliance to Eliminate Leprosy and the World Bank's work on HIV and TB in Russia. More recently, Richard participated in the work of the Costs and Financing Working Group of aids2031, providing inputs and review to the global and South Africa work and leading the Cambodia case study. 

Richard has also served on advisory groups and faculty for WHO, the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, the development of a women's health program at Harvard University, and the Global Health Leadership Institute at Yale University. Richard also served three rounds on the Technical Review Panel of the Global Fund. Richard has peer reviewed numerous books, reports, and articles on a range of health systems issues. 

Richard received a BA from Yale University and an MPA from the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University. He has received a number of awards and honors for his teaching, including being named the Undergraduate Public Health Teacher of the Year at The George Washington University and being asked to deliver a lecture in the GWU "Last Lecture" series. Richard is the author of a widely used undergraduate textbook on global health, Essentials of Global Health, now in its second edition and titled Global Health 101.


  • MPA, Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University
  • BA, Yale University