Gary Slutkin is an infectious disease physician and epidemiologist who led efforts to combat epidemics of tuberculosis, cholera and AIDS, working in over 25 countries in east and central Africa, Latin America and Asia. He was the Director of Intervention for the World Health Organization (WHO) and is credited with having fully revealed the scientific and practical links for seeing and treating violence as a standard health epidemic. In the year 2000 he founded Cure Violence Global, which has achieved 40 – 70% drops in violence, sometimes to 100%, using these new methods. Cure Violence Global is the no.9 NGO in the world and 1st among all organizations in the world for reducing violence.
Dr. Slutkin has a very unusual career path. After receiving his M.D. from the University of Chicago, internship, residency and fellowship in infectious disease at UCSF and San Francisco General Hospital, he moved to Somalia without salary or support to work on TB and cholera in Somali refugee camps. When Somalia appeared to be heading for a civil war, Dr. Slutkin was recruited by WHO to help start the Global Program on AIDS, and lead the effort at the epicenter in E Africa. After 10 years abroad, on returning to the U.S. in 1995, he saw violence in the same way he saw all other epidemics and demonstrated that violence could be treated in exactly the same way – with local health workers (rather than police). This new method is now in urgent demand around the country and the world and has not only been applied to community violence but also to cartels, tribes, militias, violent recruitment, election violence and to major conflict zones. In the last year he has been consulted by governments on Covid as well as developing training on election violence and extremism in the U.S. and abroad.