Josh Ruxin, Ph.D., MPH

Founder and Director

Josh Ruxin is the founder and director of the Access Project in Rwanda, an initiative of the Center for Global Health and Economic Development at Columbia University in New York City. He is also the founder and director of Rwanda Works and Rwanda Ventures, in addition to directing the Millennium Villages Project in Rwanda. Josh is a frequent contributor to such national publications as the New York Times, and the Huffington Post, and has been featured in the Washington Post, Time, Seed magazine, CNN and CNN International's Inside Africa, among many others. (Follow Josh's twitter activities @JoshRuxin)

Josh has extensive experience operating at the intersection of public health, business and international development. In 1991, he co-founded and served as vice president of ontheFRONTIER, a strategy consulting firm. During his five years there and at the Monitor Group, he led projects in a dozen developing countries and was an advisor to government and private sector leaders on business strategy and economic development. Josh holds a B.A. in History of Science and Medicine from Yale University, where he was a Truman Scholar. He received a Masters of Public Health from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in History from the University of London, where he was a Marshall Scholar. He is currently based in Kigali, Rwanda, where he lives with his wife, two daughters and a son.

If you're interested in booking Josh Ruxin to speak at your next event, please contact Tom Neilssen at the BrightSight Group:



As Assistant Clinical Professor of Public Health at the Mailman School of Public Health, Josh created Columbia University's first multi-disciplinary course focused on addressing the challenges to achieving the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals. With the Access Project, he provides expert technical assistance in health system management for governments receiving financing from the multi-billion dollar Global Fund.

When the Access Project began, it coordinated multiple teams in over a dozen countries, delivering training and technical expertise to ministries of health, NGOs and various coalitions. Under Josh’s leadership , the Access Project secured $1.3 billion for countries working on national strategies and programs. Since that time, the Access Project has narrowed and intensified its focus to Rwanda, where the team works at the local health center level to improve management practices in eight key management domains. Today, Josh oversees the Access Project’s work in 86 health centers serving over two million Rwandans.

Josh is also the founder and director of the Neglected Tropical Disease Control Project (NTD) and the Millennium Villages Project (MVP) in Rwanda. He raised $3 million in funding from Sabin Vaccine Institute and Geneva Global for the NTD collaboration with the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Disease Control. The collaboration focused on the nation-wide reduction of morbidity from five diseases: soil transmitted helminth infections, schistosomiasis, onchocerciasis, lymphatic filariasis and trachoma. In July 2011, the NTD Project was taken over by the Government of Rwanda,which will be implementing its activities through the Rwandan Ministry of Health's TRAC Plus Project.

To implement the Millennium Villages Project in Rwanda, Josh raised $3.5 million in seed capital from the Stephen Lewis Foundation and MAC AIDS Fund. The MV Project uses a revolutionary and integrated approach to demonstrate that substantive and rapid investments in human development can help poor communities achieve all the Millennium Development Goals in less than five years., In Rwanda, this unique government-le project was designed in cooperation with seven government ministries. It has implemented agricultural interventions that have resulted in a ten-fold increase in maize production between 2005 and 2006. Josh also instituted the first project-wide seed and fertilizer loan program; directed a shift toward producing high-value organic products, such as mango and papaya; and, with financing secured from the Africa Development Foundation, established the first pomegranate cooperative in East Africa. Other accomplishments include the removal of point-of-service co-payments at Mayange Health Center (which has resulted in a 55% increase in outpatient consultations); a community-led insecticide-treated bed net distribution program (which resulted in a 47% decrease in malaria among 100,000 people); the institution of the first provider-initiated routine family planning program at a health center in Rwanda; the organization of the first community-based, private-sector led tourism cooperative; and the establishment of five artisanal cooperatives involving 220 families.

Josh currently oversees an array of initiatives in health, microfinance, agriculture, education, water and sanitation, and is responsible for infrastructure build-out for solar energy, electrification, water points, and transportation.

Previously, Josh was co-founder and vice president of ontheFRONTIER, a strategy consulting firm based in Boston, Massachusetts. During his five years there and at Monitor Group, he led projects in a dozen developing countries and was an advisor to government and private sector leaders on business strategy and economic development. Josh received a B.A. in the History of Science and Medicine from Yale University, where he was a Truman Scholar. After Yale, Josh was a Fulbright Scholar in Bolivia. He holds a Master of Public Health from Columbia University, and a PhD in History from the University of London, where he was a Marshall Scholar. In addition to serving on the board of Orphans of Rwanda, Inc., Josh also serves on the Board of Directors of FilmAid International. He is a member of the Global HIV Prevention Working Group and serves on faculty at the Clergy Leadership Project.

"Reversing the tide of tuberculosis in India: Complementing microscopy with line probe assays", Yanis Ben Amor, Josh Ruxin, Max Fraden, forthcoming in Global Public Health, 2008.

Contributor to The New York Times blog, "On the Ground." Postings: "Every Billion Counts," 9 March 2008; "Bush, AIDS, Business, and Africa," 20 February 2008; "Removing the N from Neglected Tropical Disease," 11 February 2008; "Kenya isn't Rwanda," 4 January 2008; "War for the Holidays," 26 December 2007; "Elevate All Boats," 23 December 2007; "Where's the Party?" 30 November 2007; "A Tale of Two Feet," 26 November 2007; "Orphans of Rwanda," 3 November 2007; "A Solvable Problem," 24 October 2007; "History Repeating Itself," 9 October 2007; "The Word is Getting Out," 28 September 2007; "The Problem Here and the Problem There," 23 September 2007; "How Do They Cope?" 16 September 2007; "Filling a Need Greater Than Money," 6 September 2007; "On the Ground: Josh Ruxin in Rwanda," 29 August 2007.

"A Victory Lap for Bush – Minus the Victory," by Josh Ruxin, Nieman Watchdog, 15 February 2008

"Bush in Africa," by Josh Ruxin, The Huffington Post, 19 February 2008

"The Real Bush Legacy May Be In Africa," by Josh Ruxin, Huffington Post, 13 March 2008

"World AIDS Day: Putting a Human Face on Numbers," by Josh Ruxin, The Huffington Post, 27 November 2007.

"To Ensure Health and Increase Growth, Bring Population Under Control," co-authored by Josh Ruxin & Allan Rosenfield, The Huffington Post, 26 October 2007.

"What the TB Scare Teaches Us", by Josh Ruxin, The Huffington Post, 14 June 2007.

"A New Model to Help Africa", by Josh Ruxin, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 20 April 2007.

"Horror to Hope in Rwanda", by Josh Ruxin, The Baltimore Sun, 5 March 2007.

"U.S., and its stars, can help Africa", by Josh Ruxin, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 5 January 2007.

"How has the Global Fund affected the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria?", by Josh Ruxin, Virtual Mentor, November 2006.

"Fiber Optic Networks to Rwanda's Rescue", by Josh Ruxin, San Francisco Chronicle, 19 November 2006.

"Business and Millennium Development Goals", by Josh Ruxin, Business and AIDS, Summer 2005, Vol. 2, issue 1.

"Achieving the Millennium Development Goals", by Josh Ruxin and Jeffrey Sachs, Worldview, Summer 2005.

"Emerging consensus in HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and access to essential medicines", by Josh Ruxin, et. al, Lancet, 365:618-21, 2005.

"Combating AIDS in the developing world", by Josh Ruxin, et. al., Coordinator, UN Millennium Project 2005, Task Force on HIV/AIDS, Malaria, TB, and Access to Essential Medicines, Working Group on HIV/AIDS; Earthscan, 2005.

"Moving Mountains: The Race to Treat Global AIDS", by Josh Ruxin, Nature Medicine, December 2004.

"The Human Development Report 2003: Millennium Development Goals: A Compact Among Nations to End Human Poverty", by Josh Ruxin et. al., UNDP, Oxford University Press, 2003.

"Reinventing Wheels", by Josh Ruxin,, 14 April 2003.

"The United Nations Protein Advisory Group," by Josh Ruxin, published in Food, Science, Policy, and Regulation in the Twentieth Century: International and Comparative Perspectives, eds. David F. Smith and Jim Phillips, Routledge Press, 2000.

Magic Bullet: The History of Oral Rehydration Therapy," by Josh Ruxin, Medical History, Vol. 38, 363-397, 1994.