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International Health

Professor Sara Bennett Named Next Director of International Health's Health Systems Program

May 22, 2018

Sara Bennett
Sara Bennett, PhD, MPhil, professor, International Health,
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Photo credit: Chris Hartlove

David Peters, MD, DrPH '93, MPH '89, Edgar Berman Chair and Professor of the Department of International Health at the Bloomberg School, announced Sara Bennett, PhD, MPhil, professor, International Health, as the next director of the Health Systems Program. "Dr. Bennett's leadership and vision have been an asset to the Department and the Bloomberg School since she joined in 2009.  I’m confident that she will help Health Systems continue to grow and excel as it has under Dr. Adnan Hyder," wrote Peters in a message to the Department. Bennett starts as program director in August when Hyder, MD, PhD '98, MPH '93, professor, International Health and the Program's current director, steps down to become Senior Associate Dean for Research and Professor in Global Health at George Washington University's Milken Institute School of Public Health.

Bennett’s numerous accomplishments span across research, practice and teaching. She has played a significant role in the development of the field of Health Policy and Systems Research. She is the former chair and current board member of Health Systems Global, the first international membership organization fully dedicated to promoting health systems research and knowledge translation. Bennett also chairs the MRC/Wellcome Trust/DFID Joint Health Systems Research Committee, which supports research based in low- and middle-income countries to improve health systems in those locations.

Bennett is currently the CEO of Future Health Systems—a global consortium headquartered in the Department—which aims to improve access, affordability and quality of health services for the poor. Working closely with people who are leading the transformation of health systems in their own countries, the consortium generates knowledge that shapes health systems to benefit people living in lower-income regions.

She is also deeply committed to mentoring faculty and students, as well as teaching. Bennett leads several policy and health systems courses and advises dozens of doctoral and master’s students. In 2013, she began leading the School’s DrPH program. Under her direction, the program has been successfully re-imagined and redesigned as a part-time, and primarily online program to better serve working professionals around the world.

For 20 years, Hyder has helped build and expand the Department’s academic and research portfolio in many areas including, global injury, ethics and health systems. Dr. Hyder has directed the Department’s Health Systems Program since 2013, is the founding director of the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit (a WHO Collaborating Center) which addresses the growing burden of injuries worldwide, and is also the Associate Director for Global Programs of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. "Although he’ll always be part of International Health as an alum, he will be missed and we wish him all the best," wrote Peters.  

The Health Systems Program, part of the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School, works to design systems and implement equitable and cost-effective strategies for delivering health care and health promotion interventions to vulnerable and disadvantaged communities around the world.