Skip Navigation

Sommer Scholars

Real World Perspectives

A hallmark of the Hopkins Sommer Scholars Program is the opportunity to meet with leaders in global health.

Current and former leaders of nations, large nonprofit organizations and cutting-edge research programs regularly share their strategic and organizational secrets, as well as their past successes (and failures), with the Sommer Scholars.

In one meeting, Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland, talked about enduring hate mail and vilification early in her career because of her stance on contraception.

“I appreciate the personal risk she took to do what she felt was right,” says Constance Hwang, Sommer Scholar, MD, MPH ’06. “Being a true leader isn’t always aligned with popularity and good feelings.”

Every year, the scholars travel to Washington, DC to meet with public health policy makers. They visit with various organizations, including the Pan American Health Organization, as well as representatives from the U.S. Congress.

Sommer Scholars also travel to New York City where they meet with Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, the city health commissioner and public health executives at various organizations, including Pfizer, Inc.