New Jackson Institute Senior Fellows Announced

Vanessa Kerry

Dr. Vanessa Kerry (MD, Msc) graduated with honors from Yale University and Harvard Medical School, and completed her Internal Medicine residency and Critical Care Fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital. She earned her Master’s in Health Policy, Planning, and Financing from the London Schools of Economics and of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She is the co-founder and the CEO of Seed Global Health, which has helped train over 16,000 health professionals in five countries in Africa. Dr. Kerry is also a physician at Massachusetts General Hospital and serves as the Associate Director of Partnerships and Global Initiatives at MGH Global Health. She directs the Global Public Policy and Social Change program in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School developing research and training on health system protection in crisis. Dr. Kerry has a number of prominent publications and has been featured on various media outlets. She is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and a Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation Social Entrepreneur.

At Yale, Dr. Kerry will teach an undergraduate seminar on the politics of global health.


Francisco (Paco) Palmieri

Francisco (Paco) Palmieri served as the Acting Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs from January 2017 to October 2018, where he led the State Department’s efforts to advance U.S. foreign policy goals in the region.  He managed the successful 2018 Summit of the Americas in Peru, U.S. engagement with the Lima Group unifying 15 Western Hemisphere democracies in a multilateral diplomatic response to the crisis in Venezuela, the reorientation of U.S. foreign assistance in support of the Colombia peace process, the formulation and adoption of a new comprehensive U.S. political and economic Caribbean 2020 strategy for the Caribbean, the launch of the renegotiation of the 50-year old Columbia River Treaty with Canada, and the multi-agency response to the ongoing migration challenges emanating from Central America. He also was responsible for the daily management of the Bureau’s 53 overseas U.S. diplomatic missions, 12,000 employees, and implementation of the Hemisphere’s $1.58 billion foreign assistance and $290 million operating budgets.

Palmieri served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary from January 2016 to January 2017 and as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Central America and the Caribbean from January 2014 to January 2016. In this role, he was the principal U.S. negotiator on the Alliance for Prosperity plan adopted by El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Palmieri also served as the Director of the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs’ Office of Policy Planning and Coordination in 2011-2012.

At Yale, Palmieri will teach a graduate seminar on democracy, human rights, and U.S. diplomacy in Latin America.


John Podesta

John Podesta served as Chair of Hillary for America. Prior to joining Hillary Clinton’s campaign, he served as Counselor to President Barack Obama.

In 2008, he served as co-chair of President Obama’s transition team, where he coordinated the priorities of the incoming administration’s agenda, oversaw the development of its policies, and spearheaded its appointments of major cabinet secretaries and political appointees.

He is the former Chair of the Washington, D.C.-based think tank Center for American Progress and the Center for American Progress Action Fund.  Prior to founding the Center in 2003, Podesta served as White House Chief of Staff to President William J. Clinton.

He also recently served on the President’s Global Development Council and the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

Additionally, Podesta has held numerous positions on Capitol Hill, including counselor to Democratic Leader Sen. Thomas A. Daschle (1995-1996).

At Yale, Podesta will teach a seminar on decision-making in the White House.