Award for Global Engagement

2014 Recipient

Alan R. Lifson, MD, MPH
Professor, Division of Epidemiology & Community Health
School of Public Health

Dr. Alan R. Lifson has made substantial research contributions in the field of HIV/AIDS control and care and, as an educator and leader, has been a strong advocate for global experiences for public health graduate students.

Dr. Lifson’s research and expertise around HIV care and treatment has led him to serve as a consultant with organizations like the Centers for Disease Control, National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD), the World Health Organization, and the U.S. Agency for International Development in more than 10 countries worldwide. In Ethiopia he developed programs with community support workers at the village level to assure that HIV positive patients received appropriate education and follow-up care. Since 2008 Dr. Lifson has collaborated with NASTAD Global Programs providing technical assistance for the design and implementation of HIV research and evaluation activities in both Ethiopia and South Africa on best practices in the areas of retention of HIV patients, HIV treatment, and care programs. With a recently awarded grant from the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Lifson is currently evaluating the association of khat use among HIV-positive persons with the retention of patients in HIV care in Ethiopia.

As an educator and leader, Dr. Lifson developed and teaches a popular graduate course, “Epidemiology of Global Health,” and serves as the chair of a task force charged with developing a 15-credit Global Health certificate program that will provide students the skills needed to work in health settings around the globe. Dr. Lifson has tirelessly worked on behalf of master’s of public health students to provide them with the practical experience of working in the global field of public health. Dr. Lifson has established himself as a leader in co-curricular activities, and his leadership in the planning and development of new procedures and programs in international educational programs continues to enhance the goals of excellence and global engagement for the University of Minnesota. Dr. Lifson's commitment to global health has been most recently demonstrated by his support to the American Refugee Committee as a Health Advisor, providing expert consultation and assistance for their response activities to the Ebola epidemic in Liberia.

Dr. Lifson has demonstrated, by example, the importance of global citizenship that he values so highly. He has represented the University of Minnesota at all levels from national ministries of health to local rural villages, helping to build bridges around the world especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Dr. Lifson, through his own accomplishments, has advanced the University's mission of global engagement, and, through his educational and training activities, is helping to develop the next generation of professionals to continue this work.