BRAVO Leadership Conversation: Julio Frenk, President of the University of Miami

The University of Miami president and former Mexican health minister discussed lessons learned from the pandemic, the new vaccines, and the virtues of multilateralism.

"We cannot continue to follow unsustainable models of economic growth. The pandemic is as anthropogenic as climate change," said University of Miami President Julio Frenk in a BRAVO Leadership Conversation with AS/COA President and CEO Susan Segal. The former health minister of Mexico explained the decision-making process his university adopted when deciding to open campus, which has seen "exactly zero cases of classroom transmission of COVID-19" in its 14 weeks of in-person classes.

Dr. Frenk highlighted some lessons learned from the pandemic in Latin America, such as the danger of populist leaders, which tend to pit experts against the populace. "The populist syndrome starts by minimizing—and even despising—the opinion of experts," said Frenk, who hopes that the pandemic "will lead to a reevaluation that experts are not these elitists, but people that are there to orient us all." He went on to discuss the virtues of multilateralism in the unprecedented success of vaccine development, as well as the need for social reform and increased support for the World Health Organization.