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Blog | Carter Center’s Dr. Hopkins Receives Honorary Doctorate from Harvard University

During its commencement ceremonies May 30, Harvard University presented Carter Center Vice President of Health Programs Dr. Donald Hopkins with an honorary Doctor of Science degree for his leadership in disease eradication, particularly his work on the Center’s campaign to wipe out the water borne affliction Guinea worm disease.

Down from approximately 3.5 million cases in 21 countries in Africa and Asia, the Center and its partners are battling the last fraction of one percent of the so-called “fiery serpent.”

donald-hopkins-and-harvard-luminariesA graduate of Harvard’s School of Public Health, Dr. Hopkins was awarded the honorary degree along with eight other luminaries, including Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and television personality Oprah Winfrey.

Dr. Hopkins was awarded the honorary degree along with eight other luminaries, including Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and television personality Oprah Winfrey.

A graduate of Harvard’s School of Public Health, Dr. Hopkins previously was recognized by the university with an Alumni Award of Merit in 2012.

After a successful career at the U.S. Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, Dr. Hopkins retired from acting director at the CDC to a second career at The Carter Center. For 25 years, he has overseen the Center’s pioneering work on the eradication, elimination, and control of neglected tropical diseases as well as the promotion of mental health.

donald-hopkins-receives-harvard-degreeOn May 30, 2013, Harvard University presented Carter Center Vice President of Health Programs Dr. Donald Hopkins with an honorary Doctor of Science degree for his leadership in disease eradication, particularly his work on the Center’s campaign to wipe out the water borne affliction Guinea worm disease.

Dr. Hopkins also is chair of the Carter Center’s International Task Force for Disease Eradication, which includes scientists and notable international health organizations from around the world who evaluate disease control and prevention and the potential for eradicating infectious diseases.

“Everyone, even those living thousands of miles away from a Guinea worm endemic village, should care about this disease because Guinea worm disease impedes human potential around the globe,” said Dr. Hopkins. “Mozart almost died of smallpox as a child. How much poorer would the world be if Nelson Mandela had died of measles as a boy? The world is losing potential scientists, statesmen, and artists every day to preventable diseases.”

Related Resources

Learn more about the Carter Center’s health programs »

Read Harvard Magazine’s write up of the honorees »

Read the 2013 New York Times’ profile of Dr. Hopkins, “Another Scourge in His Sights” »

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