Joseph C. Kolars, Executive Director, University of Michigan Center for Global Health Equity

Joseph C. Kolars, MD is the Executive Director of the University of Michigan’s Center for Global Health Equity. In 2023, he completed a 14-year term as Senior Associate Dean at the U-M Medical School.  A practicing gastroenterologist, he holds appointments as Professor of Medicine in the Medical School and Professor of Health Management and Policy in the U-M School of Public Health. Dr. Kolars has focused his career on education and training, holding numerous leadership roles in education programs at the Mayo Clinic and the University of Michigan. Global health has been a major component of his career for almost 40 years with a focus on education and health system strengthening in low-resource areas. He is a trustee of the China Medical Board and provides consultation to the NIH Fogarty International Center Advisory Council. From 2007-2011 he served as a consultant to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where he oversaw initiatives that partnered health science schools in Sub-Saharan Africa with those in the United States. Since 2010 he has been the co-director for the Joint Institute for Translational and Clinical Research with Peking University  Health Science Center. He lived with his family in Shanghai from 1996-1999 to help establish one of China’s first western-based health care systems.  He obtained his MD in 1982 from the University of Minnesota Medical School and completed his postgraduate training at the University of Michigan.