Elvis Garcia

Lecturer in Architecture

Elvis Garcia earned Master's 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, building responses to epidemics like cholera in Haiti and Ebola in Liberia, providing health assistance to refugees in Darfur and Somalia, and launching medical operations in conflicts like Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen. During his work as a humanitarian logistician in health interventions, he designed hospitals, health facilities, and camps, always mindful of the context and the opportunities that local materials and know-how could provide, not only to build but to create environments 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 experiences at headquarters and in the field have exposed Elvis to multiple public health crises around the world. During this time, he developed a growing interest in the governance mechanisms that rule the global health system as well as the role of the private sector in public health crises, with the idea to improve local resilience and reduce the likelihood of public health emergencies and epidemics.

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.