Elvis Garcia

Lecturer in Architecture

Elvis Garcia earned Masters and Doctoral degrees in Public Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He previously earned a Bachelor of Science and a Master's in Engineering, as well as a Master's in Architecture and a Master's in Political Science. For a decade, Elvis worked with Doctors Without Borders, where he held a variety of roles and responsibilities in multiple contexts, such as addressing malaria-endemic areas in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic or building responses to epidemics like cholera in Haiti and Ebola in Liberia. He also worked on refugee camps providing health assistance to displaced people in Uganda, Darfur, and Somalia, or launching medical operations in conflicts like Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen. During his work as a humanitarian logistician in health interventions, Elvis designed hospitals, health facilities, and treatment centers. Mindful of the context and the opportunities that local materials and know-how could provide, he has embraced a vernacular design approach that would be understood, used, and maintained by the local population, taking into account the limited resources available. During his time working in headquarters, he reviewed and developed the construction protocols and guidelines for Doctors Without Borders to be used in all their field missions.

His multidisciplinary background and varied interests have allowed him to try to address the problem of epidemics through different fields. From the design perspective, by teaching at the Harvard Graduate School of Design about the value of design in helping to tackle health epidemics, and through a public health approach by working at Takeda Pharmaceuticals developing access to medicines strategies for vaccines in low and middle-income countries.

During the last months, Elvis has been requested to contribute to multiple forums and media outlets, national and international, as an expert in epidemic management and COVID-19 response. He has been a sought after contributor to media, and his ideas on the role of design to fight and prevent epidemics have been featured on the main newspapers, tv, and radio shows in Spain and the US.