Renzo R. Guinto, MD

Renzo Speaks

A Filipino physician with broad interests in global health and sustainable development, Dr. Ramon Lorenzo Luis “Renzo” Rosa Guinto is a third-year Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) candidate at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Currently, Renzo is based in the Philippines, conducting his doctoral thesis (known as Doctoral Engagement in Leadership and Translation for Action or DELTA Project) which focuses on building 'climate-smart' local health systems in the Philippines. For his DELTA Project, he is hosted by the Civika Asian Development Academy as a Planetary Health Innovation Fellow. At present, he is also a "Thought Leader" columnist for Rappler, the Philippines' largest online news organization, and is establishing PH Lab, a "glocal think-and-do tank" for generating innovative solutions for Philippine health, public health, and planetary health.

As a global health generalist in the business of translation, he is finding innovative ways to tackle some of the seemingly intractable health challenges through projects, discourses, and other initiatives – from building climate-smart health systems and cities and developing upstream strategies for combatting noncommunicable diseases, to strengthening regional health governance in Southeast Asia and promoting the health rights of migrants, to creating effective teams in public health settings and preparing countries for the next big epidemic. He has a diverse range of experiences in government, academia, private sector, and civil society at local, national, regional, and international levels.

While in Harvard, Renzo is president and founder of two organizations - the Sustainability & Health Student Forum at the Harvard Chan School, and the Harvard Chan ASEAN Student Organization; member of the university-wide Council of Student Sustainability Leaders; Associate Editor of the Harvard Public Health Review; co-convener of the Teams for Health Study Group; researcher in the Climate, Energy, and Health Program at the Harvard Center for Climate, Health and the Global Environment; Graduate Student Associate of the Harvard University Asia Center; Student Fellow of the Voices in Leadership Series at the Harvard Chan School; Teaching Fellow at the Global Health Education and Learning Incubator and the Harvard University Graduate School of Design; Graduate Student Ambassador of the Harvard Global Health Institute; Fellow of the Walker Study Group on Nutrition and Agriculture; core member of the One Harvard Climate Initiative; and member of the steering committee of the annual Planetary Health Meetings in 2017 and 2018. Deeply committed to the advancement of health and wellbeing in his home region, he organized in April 2017 a forum entitled “Future of Health in Southeast Asia” in partnership with the Harvard University Asia Center and in commemoration of ASEAN’s 50th anniversary.

Currently, Renzo is the sole student member of the Editorial Advisory Board of The Lancet Planetary Health, and he recently joined an international collaborative of emerging scholars convened by The University of Edinburgh and Georgetown University which examines the nexus of universal health coverage and global health security. Previously, Renzo was a Climate CoLab Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; consultant for climate and health at the World Bank; 2016 New Voices Fellow at the Aspen Institute; local convener of the NCDFREE advocacy and innovation bootcamp in Boston; and one of the 'talents' at the inaugural UNLEASH Global Innovation Lab for the Sustainable Development Goals in Denmark.

Renzo also served as Asia coordinator, and later acting Global Coordinator of the Healthy Energy InitiativeHealth Care Without Harm's flagship program focusing on the nexus of climate change, energy, and health. He also worked as consultant on cancer care to the Ministry of Health in Chile; co-founder and director of youth ‘think-and-do’ tank #ReimagineGlobalHealth; co-investigator in a national study on reconfiguring primary health care under the Universal Health Care Study Group of the University of the Philippines (UP) Manila; migrant health consultant in the International Organization for Migration and Philippine Department of Health; convener of ASEAN Youth Dialogues, a movement promoting ASEAN awareness among Southeast Asian youth; lecturer on “Futures Thinking” in the Section of History of Medicine in UP Manila; guest lecturer for a Coursera online course entitled “An Introduction to Global Health” offered by the Copenhagen School of Global Health; and intern at the Department of Ethics and Social Determinants of Health (SDH), World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva.

Renzo in Library

Renzo was a member of several committees, including: Philippine Medical Association’s Committee on Environmental Health; WHO steering committee on SDH and transformative education; and The Lancet-University of Oslo Youth Commission on Global Governance for Health. He served as chair of the urban health scientific committee for the Global Forum on Research and Innovation for Health 2015, and of the New Leaders for Health Pre-Forum which gathered 500 young health leaders from across the Philippines. He was also a member of the Philippine and global health sector delegations at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP 21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris, France. Renzo is a member of numerous international organizations and networks, including: Health Systems Global; Migration Health and Development Research Initiative (MHADRI); Planetary Health AllianceAmerican Public Health Association; International Union for Health Promotion and EducationAmerican Association for the Advancement of Science; Junior Doctors Network of the World Medical Association; Environmental Health Working Group of the World Federation of Public Health Associations; The Climate Reality Project (led by Al Gore); and Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs.

A medical graduate of UP Manila under its accelerated seven-year Integrated Liberal Arts and Medicine (INTARMED) program, Renzo also received training in global health, global environmental sustainability, non-communicable disease prevention, and implementation science from the University of Oxford; East-West Center in Hawaii and Washington DC; Copenhagen School of Global Health; University of the Western Cape in Cape Town, South Africa; and the National Cancer Institute of the US National Institutes of Health. He was bestowed numerous accolades both locally and abroad including: 2007 Bayer Young Environmental Envoy (Germany); 2012 New Voices in Global Health by The Lancet; 2014 Emerging Voices in Global Health by the Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp; and 2015 Emerging Leader by the World Heart Federation in Lima, Peru; 2017 S.E.A.L. Award (Sustainability, Environmental Achievement and Leadership); 2018 Who's Who in America; and 2018 Raffles Fellow by the National University of Singapore.

During his medical student days, he served as Chairperson of the UP Manila's University Student Council and President of the Asian Medical Students' Association-Philippines. He also assumed important roles in the International Federation of Medical Students' Associations, including: founding director of the Global Health Equity Initiative; regional coordinator for the Asia-Pacific; liaison officer to the WHO; and head of delegation to the WHO World Conference on Social Determinants of Health (Rio de Janeiro, 2011) and the 66th World Health Assembly (Geneva, 2013). Under these capacities, he organized international workshops for medical students on various topics such as global health diplomacy (with Ilona Kickbusch and the Graduate Institute Geneva), social determinants of health, and universal health care in Geneva, Mumbai, Penang, Baltimore, Manila, Tokyo, among others.

Renzo has spoken about global health, climate change, planetary health, universal health care, medical education, migrant health, non-communicable diseases, health systems, and global health diplomacy in nearly 20 countries including at the 2016 Aspen Ideas Festival; published more than 50 journal articles, commentaries, and op-eds in The Lancet, Global Health Action, International Health Policies, Los Angeles Times, Rappler, Philippine Daily Inquirer, etc.; and produced a short film entitled "The Big Show" which explored the climate-energy-health nexus in the Philippines.

After studying in Harvard, Renzo hopes to lead in developing and implementing innovative policy and practical solutions to pressing global health and planetary health challenges in the era of sustainable development. He has a singular ultimate desire - to advance the health of both people and the planet.