Mary Bassett, M.D.

Mary T. Bassett, MD, MPH

Director, Harvard FXB Center for Health and Human Rights / François-Xavier Bagnoud Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard University

With more than 30 years of experience in public health, Dr. Bassett has dedicated her career to advancing health equity. Prior to joining the Harvard FXB Center, she served as New York City’s Commissioner of Health from 2014 to 2018. As commissioner, Dr. Bassett worked to ensure every neighborhood supported the health of its residents, with the goal of closing gaps in population health across New York City.

Originally from New York City, Dr. Bassett lived in Zimbabwe for nearly 20 years, where she served on the medical faculty of the University of Zimbabwe. She also worked as the Program Director for the African Health Initiative and the Child Well-being Program at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and as Deputy Commissioner for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. She received her BA in History and Science from Harvard University and her MD from Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. She served her medical residency at Harlem Hospital Center and has a master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Washington, where she was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar.