Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Harvard Interim President: Health Policy Guru Alan Garber MD

Alan Garber MD has been chosen as interim president of Harvard University.

At Fox News,


At Harvard Crimson,

At Wikipedia,


Born in 1955, he grew up in Illinois, and he holds a BA and PhD in economics from Harvard, where he arrived as "an ambivalent premed student."  Concurrent with his PhD on antibiotics economics at Harvard (1982), he also has an MD from Stanford (1983), and trained in internal medicine at Harvard/Brigham (1986).  He was at Stanford 1986-2011, when he returned to Harvard.   While being Provost, he also holds several concurrent faculty positions (health policy; economics; JFK School of Government.)  

He has some 150 academic publications which have been cited 20,000 times (Harvard Crimson). He has earned several million dollars as a board member of Exelixis and Vertex (Harvard Crimson).  

See a 2011 bio at Harvard Magazine, which marked his return to Harvard as Provost.  Even back in 2011, his career was summarized as follows:  

"At Stanford, Garber [was in 2011] professor (by courtesy) of economics, health research and policy, and of economics in the Graduate School of Business. He is also a senior fellow in the Freeman-Spogli Institute for International Studies and in the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. He has directed both Stanford’s Center for Health Policy and the Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research at the School of Medicine since their founding and is a staff physician at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System, associate director of the VA Center for Health Care Evaluation.  He is a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) in Cambridge, where he founded and, for 19 years, directed its healthcare program (which brought him back to Massachusetts four times yearly, he reported)." (Harvard Magazine) 

See a 2015, 30-minute interview with Garber on leadership at YouTube here.  He joked that some aspects of university management are "like a general internal medicine problem...managing a chronic disease."

In a 2009  NEJM article, he talked about economics of cardiology drug development.  See a 2016 article in NEJM, Uber's lesson for health care, here.   See a 2021 JAMA article where he talked about excessive pandemic deaths.

2015 YouTube


Ex-President Claudine Gay posts Op Ed in NYT on January 3 - here.