Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Authors / Biography

Gary Darmstadt

Title Senior Fellow, Global Development
Organization Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Dr. Gary L. Darmstadt, Senior Fellow, Global Development Program, provides strategic counsel on cross-program learning and integration opportunities that show promising impact and strategic importance, particularly involving women and girls. He joined the Global Health Program at the foundation as Senior Program Officer, Newborn Health in February of 2008, became Team Lead for Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health (MNCH) and Interim Deputy Director of Integrated Health Solutions Development in October 2008, and Director of the Family Health Division in January 2010.  He is also an active member of the Global Health India Team.


Darmstadt was formerly Associate Professor and Founding Director of the International Center for Advancing Neonatal Health in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He has trained in Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University, in Dermatology at Stanford University, and in Pediatric Infectious Disease as a fellow at the University of Washington, Seattle, where he was Assistant Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Medicine. Dr. Darmstadt left the University of Washington to serve as Senior Research Advisor for the Saving Newborn Lives program of Save the Children-US, where he led the development and implementation of the global research strategy for newborn health and survival, before joining Johns Hopkins.  


His training and experience spans from state-of-the-art basic laboratory discovery science in bacterial pathogenesis to field-based operations research in intervention development and delivery in low resource settings in developing countries. As a member of the Steering Committee of the Lancet Neonatal Survival Series, he was instrumental in identifying cost-effective interventions and feasible strategies for delivering these interventions in countries to avert newborn deaths. He has recently co-led reviews to synthesize the evidence and to develop strategies for implementation of interventions to address stillbirths and deaths during childbirth. Darmstadt has authored more than 250 original research and review articles, book chapters, clinical analyses, editorials and policy briefs. His research and program experience has focused on developing, testing and introducing innovative strategies for the prevention, detection and management of serious newborn illness, particularly infections, and improving family and community-based newborn and maternal care in low resource settings around the world. 

Posts By Gary Darmstadt

Busting Myths: Taking Kangaroo Mother Care to the Next Level

Thirty-five years after its introduction, Kangaroo Mother CAre is still a practice that is sputtering through even the introductory phase (globally less than one percent use), in part because of a widely accepted myth that it is only a hospital-based, medical intervention for premature babies.

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Busting Newborn Myths

When I started out as a pediatrician 25 years ago, the prevailing perception, it was a myth actually, about newborn health care was that it was highly technical, specialized, and too expensive and difficult to take on, on a global scale.

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Blending Science and Culture to Speed Adoption of Kangaroo Care

Kangaroo mother care promotes maternal-infant bonding and physiological stability in the newborn, facilitates breastfeeding, provides warmth, reduces risk of serious infections and mortality of premature infants by about 50 percent.

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Blending Science and Culture to Accelerate Kangaroo Mother Care

In Istanbul, Turkey, a city where East meets West, and emblematic of our challenge to meld state-of-the-art science with age-old parental instincts to provide newborn children with food, warmth and love, a group came together in October, 2013, to “bend the curve” on newborn survival through acceleration of adoption of Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC).

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Where in the World Were You Born?

It turns out that one of the most telling questions about you is “Where in the world were you born?”

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