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Avery Waite

Rye, New York

The Business of Health Equity

While working in the primary school system in a rural Kenyan fishing village between her freshman and sophomore years at Duke University, Avery Waite joined a research project studying the effects of malnutrition in the classroom.

Waite’s two months in Kenya provided not just critical training in research and program implementation; it also made her acutely aware of glaring health inequity. HIV drugs, malaria medications, and menstrual hygiene products often weren’t available, deficits that had huge impacts on the community.

“Everyone should be able to access quality health care regardless of where they are born.”

“I was initially drawn to this program from a girls’ empowerment and education perspective,” she says. “But it became clear to me that I wanted to pursue a career making health care more accessible for people in resource-limited settings.”

Waite followed this drive to USAID’s Global Health Bureau, where she worked to battle Ebola and Zika by funding health innovations, such as more comfortable personal protection equipment and novel vector-control solutions. Later, she worked at the Clinton Health Access Initiative to negotiate pricing deals to expand access to essential health care products in low- and middle-income countries.

Waite is earning her MPH at the Bloomberg School followed by an MBA at the University of Michigan—a combination she believes will help her harness business-minded approaches to improve health equity around the world.

“Everyone should be able to access quality health care regardless of where they are born,” she says.

Profile photo of Avery Waite

Rye, New York

BA, Public Policy Studies, Duke University, 2015