Dr. Les Roberts, associate professor of population and family health in the Mailman School’s Program on Forced Migration and Health, received the Robert H. Kirschner Award for Global Activismfrom the Heartland Alliance Marjorie Kovler Center at their annual spring benefit on April 23. Founded 125 years ago, Heartland Alliance assists people around the world who are homeless, living in poverty, or struggling for healthcare and justice. Dr. Roberts, an epidemiologist, received the award for his health and human rights activism. His landmark work during the 2003 Iraq War, published in The Lancet, showed there were many more fatalities than other estimates. Most recently, Dr. Roberts worked in Sierra Leone on the Ebola crisis.
Earlier in his career, Dr. Roberts was as an epidemiologist for the CDC and later the World Health Organization in Rwanda during their civil war. He then served as director of Health Policy at the International Rescue Committee. He has led over 50 surveys in 17 countries, mostly measuring mortality in times of war.