Visiting Professor, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
Wilmot James is a visiting professor of (non-clinical) pediatrics and international affairs at Columbia University in New York City. An academic by background with a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Dr. James was previously a Member of Parliament (South Africa) and Shadow Minister of Health. He served as the Chairman of the Democratic Alliance (DA), the official opposition, between 2010 and 2016. Dr. James is the author and/or editor of seventeen books that include a set of essays on the public understanding of science titled Nature’s Gifts: Why we are the way we are (Johannesburg, 2010) and an edited collection of Nelson Mandela’s presidential speeches Nelson Mandela in his Own Words (London, 2003) with forewards by Kofi Annan and Bill Clinton, which was presented to the late Mandela on his 85th birthday in July 2003. Dr. James served on the Board of Trustees of the Ford Foundation between 1996-2008 and led the premier non-governmental organization the Institute for Democracy in South Africa (IDASA) which supported the transition from apartheid to democracy. He has teaching experience from the University of the Western Cape and University of Cape Town and post-doctoral and visiting professorial experience from Yale University, Indiana University, Edinburgh University, the Open University and California Institute of Technology. At Columbia University, he is the principal advisor to the Working Group on Global Health Security and Diplomacy at the Program for Global and Population Health, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University Medical Center.