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Global health expert Dr. Paul Farmer to speak at MSU on Jan. 31

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Paul Farmer, physician, anthropologist, Harvard University professor and chief strategist and co-founder of Partners In Health, will speak at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 31, in Montana State University’s Strand Union Building Ballrooms.

Lecture tickets went on sale on Nov. 15 at all local TicketsWest outlets. A limited number of VIP reserved tickets are also available and include a post-lecture reception with Farmer.

Farmer is the subject of the bestselling book, “Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World,” by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tracy Kidder. Farmer’s Partners In Health is an organization that has pioneered new considerations of human rights, health standards and socioeconomic inequalities throughout the world. Operating originally in Haiti, PIH has quickly spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Russia, Peru, Mexico, Lesotho, Rwanda, Malawi and the United States and now has more than 18,000 employees.

Carmen McSpadden, the director of the MSU Leadership Institute, which is bringing Farmer to MSU, said that Partners In Health’s “life-saving work paints a picture of the tangible ways in which Farmer has helped create a safer, healthier world.

“We are thrilled that President Waded Cruzado has chosen Dr. Farmer to receive the Presidential Award for Global and Visionary Leadership,” McSpadden added.

This award is reserved to honor individuals of extraordinary vision and accomplishment whose contributions to the betterment of society and the human condition are both exceptional and broad-reaching. As a world-renowned academic and anthropologist, Farmer’s research into cultural development and medical care has contributed dramatically to understanding the intricate challenges of meeting various needs of people all over the world.

“Dr. Farmer has dedicated his life to treating the most vulnerable people and it is an honor and privilege to welcome him to Montana State University with this prestigious award,” Cruzado said. Past recipients of the award include Maya Angelou, E.O. Wilson, Jane Goodall and Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with live music featuring local artists until the start of the lecture.

Farmer’s lecture will be held in conjunction with MSU’s 125th anniversary celebration and the MSU Leadership Institute’s 20th anniversary celebrations. The Leadership Institute continues to fulfill its mission of inspiring MSU students to become leaders and serve as catalysts for positive change through hosting world-class speakers and leadership workshops. Notable past speakers include Sir Ken Robinson, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Maya Angelou and Condoleezza Rice, among many others.

For more information on the lecture, including ticket pricing, visit For more information on MSU Leadership Institute, visit

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