Population Health

July 24, 2019

Initiative announces new Graduate Certificate in International Humanitarian Response

UW student handing a solar panel to a faculty member on the roof of a damaged homeThe Population Health Initiative announced today the launch of a new Graduate Certificate in International Humanitarian Response.

The certificate is intended to provide University of Washington graduate and professional students from a variety of disciplines with an integrated body of study to better support prevention, mitigation, response, and recovery from crises to assist those affected by disasters to recover their “normal” way of life. The certificate, which will begin this fall, is being offered as an interdisciplinary program through the University of Washington Graduate School.

“The frequency and impact of natural, technological and human-made disasters is increasing,” said David Townes, professor of Emergency Medicine and the faculty chair of the new certificate. “The increasing number of these emergencies creates a pressing need for a more broadly trained workforce of humanitarian professionals who are capable of responding, which is the reason why we developed this internationally-focused certificate.”

The 15-credit curriculum for the certificate will offer admitted students a solid grounding in the fundamental skillsets needed by any international humanitarian worker, regardless of their specific role. In particular, the core curriculum was chosen to ensure the certificate integrates the work of the immediate and mid-term humanitarian response to a disaster with longer-term development activities in a disaster-prone region.

“The field of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief draws expertise from numerous disciplines across the UW, which is why we at the Population Health Initiative were excited to spearhead development of this certificate,” shared Ali Mokdad, the UW’s chief strategy officer for population health and professor of Health Metrics Sciences. “We look forward to helping train a broad range of UW students to become the next generation of leaders in responding to international humanitarian crises.”

Information regarding how to apply for the certificate is available on the Population Health Initiative’s website. The application period for the inaugural cohort of students is open until 11:59 p.m. (Pacific) on Wednesday, August 14, 2019.

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