Letter from the Director

March 19, 2018

Dear USC Community,

In the nearly 10 years since the USC Institute for Global Health (now USC Institute on Inequalities in Global Health) was founded, it has grown into both a fixture and a resource for many in the USC community and beyond. Today, I am honored to tell you we are stepping into a new era that will build upon the success of our Institute’s founding leaders. Under Director Jonathan Samet and Associate Director Heather Wipfli we became an international powerhouse, known for our research in non-communicable disease, maternal and child health, air pollution, HIV, sexual and reproductive health and rights,  and for bringing these issues – and many more – to USC’s campuses through our signature lecture series.

In 2011 I arrived from Harvard University to launch the USC Program on Global Health & Human Rights within the Institute. Together, our leadership and growing cadre of faculty and staff guided the Institute to accomplish its mission to educate future and current global health leaders, carry out multi-disciplinary research and ensure the research we did informed policy and practice. We also began to bridge the University Park and Health Sciences campuses with inclusive programing through the USC Law & Global Health Collaboration, USC Global Health Case Competition, student activism events and various conferences and activities.

It was an ambitious decade. On that foundation, we are now aiming even higher to dynamically address the health disparities and inequalities that impact our world. Our goal is to create a university-wide center of excellence for research, education and action on global health to address those issues that are too complex to have a natural home with any single researcher, department or school. We aim to connect the students, faculty, and thought leaders across the University and beyond who are working in global health, and facilitate the exchange of ideas, projects and collaborations across disciplines to truly make a difference to the inequalities we see around  the globe. And by enhancing our strategic partnerships with organizations around the world, we will provide opportunities for students at every level to experience and understand the health challenges facing the world’s populations, and to consider new ways to address them.

Our strategic planning is now underway and we hope to provide further details at the start of the new academic year. We thank  those of you who have worked and engaged with us over the years for your commitment and support; we hope you will continue to be a part of realizing our vision moving forward. And to those of you who are just now learning about our work in global health, we are happy to welcome you on this new and exciting journey.


Sofia Gruskin, JD, MIA
USC Institute on Inequalities in Global Health

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