Learning from Pandemics Past and Present: A Conversation with Dr. Joanne Liu


This event is for Max Bell School MPP students and faculty only.

Dr. Joanne Liu served as International President of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) from 2013 to 2019, and is currently a member of the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness that was established by the Director-General of the World Health Organisation in 2020. The Panel will present its report to the 74th World Health Assembly in May 2021.

At the helm of MSF, Dr. Liu has engaged with world leaders at the highest levels, and has been a leading voice on medical humanitarian crises – including the Ebola outbreak of West Africa, attacks on hospitals and health care workers, and forced displacement crises around the world. Her leadership role built on a career of field work with MSF, including over 20 medical humanitarian field assignments. She trained at McGill University School of Medicine in Montreal, holds a Fellowship in Pediatric Emergency Medicine from New York University School of Medicine, and has an International Master’s in Health Leadership (also from McGill University).

Dr. Liu’s operational work has ranged from introducing comprehensive care for survivors of sexual violence, to developing a telemedicine platform for connecting doctors in rural areas with specialists worldwide. She remains a practicing doctor, both in the field with MSF and also through hospital shifts in her hometown of Montreal. She believes strongly in bringing and delivering high-quality, patient-centred care in all medical work contexts.



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