The mission of the Global Health and Leadership Conference at Harvard is to inspire interest in global health and empower youth to serve as the next generation of civically-minded leaders.
Founded in 2017, the Global Health and Leadership Conference at Harvard promotes engagement with a wide array of global health topics and fosters collaborations between Harvard professors, undergraduates, and high school students from around the world. We seek to educate high school students about the complex and intersectional factors that underlie global health beyond the realm of biomedicine – from issues of socioeconomic disparities to climate change, law and criminal justice, and immigration.
Conference participants attend a keynote speaker series led by global health professionals across diverse disciplines, and also partake in Q&A sessions and career panels. In addition, students will attend interactive workshops led by Harvard undergraduate global health organizations.
Students may choose to participate in the Community Project Pitch Competition and/or the Case Study Competition. The Pitch Competition challenges students to research, design, develop, and propose a global health-related civic project in their home communities. The Case Study Competition is a fast-paced exercise in a timed setting – during the Conference, participating students will be placed in teams and must research and write a policy proposal in response to a given prompt.
Meet Our Team
Board of Directors
Board of Directors
Katelyn Li, '21
Katelyn Li is a junior at Harvard majoring in Neuroscience with a secondary in Government. She is passionate about the intersections between developmental neuroscience, disability advocacy, and healthcare policy. Katelyn conducts neuroscience research in Professor Guoping Feng’s lab at the MIT McGovern Institute. She also promotes disability awareness through her work at the Harvard Law School Project on Disability and mirrors this mission as Director of PBHA Best Buddies (a public service program that builds strong friendships between individuals with and without intellectual and developmental disability). Katelyn spent last summer at the National Health Services, where she led an effort to implement nationwide health checks for autism and learning disabilities in England. Witnessing systems-level inequities in healthcare, especially for populations with disabilities, has galvanized Katelyn to pursue health policy work after graduating. In her free time, Katelyn also serves as a News Editor for The Harvard Crimson and loves running outdoors. Katelyn led the Conference last year and is excited for another great experience in 2020!
Anthony Zhong, '21
Anthony Zhong is a junior at Harvard studying History and Science with a secondary in Government. He is interested in the structural determinants of health and improving population health through policy. He conducts research at the Harvard School of Public Health, where he studies nutrition, obesity, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). He has also worked as a legal aid intern and a health policy analyst, and has drafted reports for the Massachusetts State Senate, a U.S. House Representative, and UNAIDS. On campus, Anthony serves as Co-President of the Harvard Global Health Institute’s Student Advisory Committee and former Co-President of the Harvard Undergraduate Global Health Forum. He teaches weekly health classes at Boston Public Schools, provides free health screenings in underserved communities, and also performs street outreach with Harvard Square Homeless Shelter. Outside of classes, Anthony enjoys music, running, and hiking. He is an aspiring public health physician and policymaker and is excited to contribute to this year’s conference!
Leena Hamad, '21
Leena Hamad is a junior from Manchester, New Hampshire, studying Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard College. Her passion for resolving health inequities in vulnerable communities worldwide through policy and development has led her to also pursue a secondary in Government. Leena first became interested in global health after witnessing the impact of poor health infrastructure while working in her family’s country of origin, Sudan. In the future, Leena hopes to pursue a career in medicine. Beyond her interests in global health, Leena is involved in the Society of Arab Students, and she conducts microbiology research at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology. Leena works as a Peer Advising Fellow to first-year students at Harvard, and has discovered a love of mentorship through the program. In her free time, Leena loves to run by the Charles, watch soccer, read literature (in English and Arabic!), and of course, spend time with family and friends. She is excited to join the Board for the Harvard Global Health Leadership Conference as Programming Director.
Soy Choi, '23
Soyoun (Soy) Choi is a first-year student residing in Hurlbut hoping to pursue a concentration in Biomedical Engineering with a secondary in Government. She comes from Melbourne, a beautiful beach town on the east coast of Florida. Outside of her academic studies, Soy is also part of the Undergraduate Council (UC), Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra (HRO), Crimson, Phillips Brooks House Association (PBHA) Service to Society Council, and Institute of Politics (IOP) STEAM & Education Policy. Additionally, Soy enjoys playing golf, tennis, and violin in her free time. Soy loves to communicate with others regarding topics that she finds paramount to our daily lives such as global health and policy, so please feel free to reach out to her with any questions or simply to chat!
Alex Chaumette, '22
Alex Chaumette is a sophomore at Harvard concentrating in Neuroscience on the Mind, Brain, and Behavior Track. He is also pursuing a secondary in Global Health and Health Policy and a Language Citation in Spanish. Alex has experience in many areas of global health, education, and mentorship. He currently serves as the Chapter Leader of Refresh Bolivia, a non-profit dedicated to public health research and service in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and he also is an undergraduate tutor and mentor in various capacities. Alex hopes to ultimately pursue a career in medicine and be a mentor for aspiring physicians and scientists. He looks forward to applying his previous experiences to external outreach for this year’s Global Health and Leadership Conference!
Paul Lewis, 18'
Paul Lewis is a medical student at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard College where he concentrated in Neurobiology with a secondary in Global Health and Health Policy. Paul is the Founder of Harvard College VISION Global Health Society and the Global Health and Leadership Conference. Paul is the recipient of the Robert T. Benjamin Prize for his contribution to the health and wellness of Harvard, The Harvard Phillips Brooks House Association Houston Award for exceptional commitment to serving underprivileged communities, and the Harvard Transcript Project Prize for excellence in writing and reflection. He was awarded the Finley Fellowship from Harvard to spend a postgraduate year in Japan learning about end-of-life care. He aspires to become a physician leader involved in the holistic health of communities by caring for the whole person during treatment, promoting dignity for the marginalized, and acting as a mentor for youth to become conscientious caregivers.
Katrina Hon, '22
Katrina Hon is a sophomore at Harvard majoring in Neuroscience on the Mind, Brain, and Behavior track. She is originally from Middlebury, Connecticut. This is Katrina’s second year on the board for the Global Health and Leadership Conference, and she has had experience in research, mentorship, and global health. Katrina is a research assistant in Dr. Takao Hensch’s lab, working with animal models to study plasticity in the brain during critical periods. She is also conducting translational research at Boston Children’s Hospital in Dr. Charles Nelson’s lab. Katrina has previously done research in the Center for Sleep and Cognition at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and she interned this summer at Boston Children’s Hospital with Dr. Dusica Bajic, conducting a project on brain asymmetry in infants following prolonged sedation and critical care. She is also involved in other groups on campus including HCURA and Harvard Red Cross. Katrina hopes to pursue a career in medicine and continue working in the life sciences as well as mentoring students. She is very excited to take on the role of Conference Director for this year’s conference!
Ashley Cooper, '21
Ashley Cooper is a junior at Harvard concentrating in Neuroscience and Social Anthropology. She is pursuing a Secondary in History of Science along with a Language Citation in French. Ashley aspires to cultivate a career in public policy and psychiatry, with a focus on increasing cross-cultural psychiatric services. Her primary interests are neurology, mental health policy, clinical research, social medicine and medical anthropology. On campus, Ashley serves as President of a pediatric global health organization (FIMRC) and mentors youth to engage in STEM fields through Science Club for Girls. She also serves as Co-Director and Peer Counsellor at a non-directive, non-judgmental peer counselling group on campus and as Co-President of the Harvard Global Health Institute Student Advisory Committee. Ashley was selected as one of ten Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellows of the Harvard Class of 2021.
Alis Jones, '21
Alis Jones is a junior hailing from North Wales, concentrating in Social Studies and pursuing a language citation in Mandarin. She is interested in health policy and international development, which have both contributed to her Social Studies Focus Field of ‘Citizenship, Migration, and Health’. Alis hopes to work in public health in the future and she had valuable experiences in the field when interning at NHS England’s Strategy Group last summer. Beyond global health, Alis devotes her time to public service activities. She is a Resource Advocate at the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter, a volunteer for the Small Claims Advisory Service, and serves on the board of Harvard's Consent Advocates and Relationship Educators. She also promotes the benefits of service and disseminates information about service-related career trajectories through her role as the Public Service Representative for Leverett House.In her free time, Alis enjoys rock climbing, eating, watching Premier League soccer (football!), and talking about Wales.
Leigh Sharpless, '22
Leigh Sharpless, from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, is a sophomore studying History and Science and Molecular Cellular Biology at Harvard. She lives in Winthrop House and hopes to attend medical school after graduation. Leigh is a research assistant at VA Medical Center as well as a Learning Lab Undergraduate Fellow at the Derek Bok Center at Harvard. After spending her summer abroad developing a startup to help refugees find employment in Paris, Leigh became passionate in migrant and refugee issues. She hopes to translate these passions to her role as Director of Operations in this year's Harvard Global Health and Leadership Conference.
Christian Porter, '23
Christian is a rising sophomore at the College who plans to pursue a joint concentration in History of Science on the Medicine and Society Track and African-American Studies with a secondary in Global Health and Health Policy. On campus, Christian is heavily involved in the Black community, serving as Vice President of the Black Premedical Society and Programming Chair of the Black Students Association, while also being on the Student Advisory Council of the Harvard Global Health Institute. Christian is extremely passionate about the intersections of race, identity and health as they relate to questions about inequality and progress in our society, and he plans to pursue an MD/MPH degree in an aim to tackle global HIV epidemics. In terms of research, he is currently working as a term-time intern at Beth Israel, investigating human blood clotting, and will be working remotely with the University of Chicago Urban Health Labs this summer through the Harvard Global Health Institute SURGH program to examine opioid use disorder in recently incarcerated individuals. Christian looks forward to bringing his passion for global healthcare equity and advocacy to recruit students for this year's conference!