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Global Health Activist Named to Board of Trustees

John P. Howe (MED’69) leads relief organization Project HOPE

John P. Howe III, the director of a global health organization that provides medical training and emergency relief services throughout Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Europe, has been elected to the Boston University Board of Trustees. The appointment was announced this week by Alan Leventhal, the chair of the board.

Howe (MED’69) is the president and CEO of Project HOPE, which conducts health education programs specializing in infectious disease, women’s and children’s health, and clinic and facilities development in 36 countries. He received the School of Medicine’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1994, and the University’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2006.

“We are very pleased to have Dr. Howe join our board,” said Leventhal. “A man of his intelligence, integrity, global experience, and dedication to his alma mater is a welcome addition to the University’s leadership, and I look forward to working with him.”

Howe, who earned a bachelor’s degree at Amherst College, served for two years in the Army Medical Corps after completing his medical studies at BU and later completed the Health Systems Management Program at Harvard Business School. Before joining Project HOPE in 2001, he served as the CEO of the University of Texas Health Center at San Antonio; during his tenure there, the center raised $250 million in contributions, quadrupled its research funding, and substantially increased its endowment.

Under Howe’s leadership, Project HOPE has expanded its efforts to promote health awareness and education in developing countries around the world. Rates of breastfeeding in Malawi have quadrupled since Project HOPE started a program to reduce infant mortality there in 1999, and the percentage of children vaccinated in Guatemala doubled between 2001 and 2005 thanks to the organization’s efforts. The group has trained more than two million people and has distributed $1 billion in medicine and supplies since its founding as a peacetime hospital ship in 1958.

Howe holds board certification in cardiology and internal medicine and is also chair of the Harvard College Board of Overseers Committee at the Harvard Medical School and School of Dental Medicine and a member of the Board of Visitors at the Boston University School of Public Health. He is the founding president of the Texas Society for Biomedical Research, a member and past chair of the American Medical Association’s Council on Scientific Affairs, and a past member of the U.S. Air Force Scientific Advisory Board.

Howe’s other honors and awards include the U.S. Army Commander’s Award for Public Service; the People of Vision Award from the Texas Society to Prevent Blindness; the Award of Excellence from the International Association of Business Communicators; the National Humanitarian Award from the National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine; and the Surgeon General’s Exemplary Service Award.