Established in 1991 by Phoebe Berman in memory of her husband

A man of exceptional talents and humanitarian concerns, surgeon EDGAR BERMAN performed the first plastic implant on a human and the first successful heart transplant on a dog. A pioneer in international family planning and rural health programs in the 1960s under the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, Dr. Berman was deeply moved by the many diseased and afflicted children he saw in his travels. As the head of MEDICO, he went, with his wife, to serve with Albert Schweitzer in French Equatorial Africa. (Their arrival is pictured.) Dr. Berman, who died in 1987, also was physician and confidant to the late Vice President Hubert Humphrey.


PHOEBE BERMAN was a staunch supporter of programs furthering international public health issues and brought an informed, impassioned voice to the international arena. Following her death in 1999, her estate provided a substantial endowment for the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics.


DAVID H. PETERS, SPH '89, '93 (DrPH), the Edgar Berman Professor of International Health and chair of the Department of International Health in the Bloomberg School of Public Health, first came to Johns Hopkins University in 1993 as a resident in general preventive medicine and went on to receive his Master of Public Health and doctoral degrees. After earning his Hopkins degrees, Dr. Peters was employed at the World Bank where he worked on health sector programs and policy initiatives in West Africa and India, and led the analytic and policy work on health services in low- and middle-income countries. He also conducted the largest country health study ever undertaken by the Bank, which was carried out in India. His work there led him to publish several books, including Improving Health Service Delivery in Developing Countries: From Evidence to Action and Better Health Systems for India’s Poor.

Also, since 2005, he has been the director of Future Health Systems (FHS): Innovations for Equity. FHS is a consortium of researchers from Uganda, Nigeria, India, China, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, the UK, and the USA, which is aimed at generating knowledge to shape health systems to benefit the poor.

In 2002, while maintaining ties to the World Bank, he returned the Bloomberg School of Public Health as a faculty member, and assumed leadership of the school's Health Systems Program.

Dr. Peters' research focuses on improving health systems performance, particularly for the poor in low-income countries, and solving policy issues that affect many aspects of public health to improve health conditions for poor and vulnerable populations around the world.