Ans Irfan
Professor of Public Health, Climate & Health Equity Strategist, Public Health Scientist

Ans Irfan

Ans is a global public health pracademic with over a decade and a half of multidisciplinary experience in global health equity and systems change across several continents, cultures, and public health systems. He currently serves as a faculty member, researcher, and practitioner at George Washington University. He also serves in senior leadership and advisory roles with various organizations, including the advisory board of American Public Health Association’s Center for Climate, Health and Equity; APHA Governing Council; Founding Director of Center for Social Impact & Leadership with the DC Public Health Association; Director, Climate & Health Equity Practice Fellowship; and as a transdisciplinary, convergence science subject matter expert on health equity, environmental racism, social justice, and climate justice policies and programs with the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, among others. Previously, he has held several prestigious national fellowships including Christine Mirzayan Science Policy Fellowship at the National Academy of Sciences, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Health Policy Research Scholar, and the Agents of Change in Environmental Justice Fellowship. In addition, he is also affiliated with the Harvard Innovation Labs at Harvard Business School along with Harvard Climate Entrepreneurs’ Circle. More at

He currently leads solution-oriented research projects and publishes on two complementary paths: one is field-focused, advancing design knowledge; the other is project-focused, exploring complex application areas related to improving well-being. Example of the former include the creation and dissemination of new design frameworks and methods for social innovation, new approaches towards organizational boundaries and management practices, more inclusive and responsive methodologies for public policy design, and design models for infrastructuring systems change and large-scale collaboration.

Examples of the latter include complex challenges related to life after pandemics, tuberculosis, rural livelihoods in developing countries, redevelopment of post-industrial territories, sustainable food systems, outdoor experiences of marginalized populations in the US, and environmental conservation. His work has been funded by the USAID, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Kresge Foundation, Chicago Community Trust, Chicago Food Policy Action Council, Feeding America, US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, among others.

He teaches Design for Social Innovation at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and at the IIT-Institute of Design, mentoring graduate students from multidisciplinary backgrounds, including public health, public policy, business, public administration, design, and education. André also advises corporate senior executives and leaders in the social sector across the globe interested in building design capacity within their organizations. Before moving to the U.S., André worked on organization design, sustainable development, entrepreneurship and business strategy, and urban and architectural design in Brazil and Mexico.

André holds a Ph.D. in Design for Sustainability and Equity from the IIT-Institute of Design, where he helped create and lead projects for the Action Lab, a Masters in Geography, Cities, and Architecture, from Escola da Cidade, and an MSc. in Contemporary Urban Planning and a dual major bachelor’s in architecture and Urban Design from the Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie, where he helped conceptualize and manage a Public Policy Lab.

" Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I'll meet you there."




The inaugural 40 under 40 cohort represents the next generation of leaders, entrepreneurs, researchers, scientists, activists, intellectual provocateurs, authors, and directors who inspire and catalyze us all to a more just and equitable world.