Diana Silimperi

Visiting Professor of the Practice of Global Health

Dr. Diana Silimperi is an international public health pediatrician, epidemiologist and global health thought leader. She brings 35 years of global experience leading the planning, design and implementation of integrated healthcare service delivery and health system strengthening programs in more than 50 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Dr. Silimperi has specialized in the implementation of maternal, newborn and child health programs, infectious disease and global health security, and more recently non-communicable disease programs, working with both the public and private sectors. She is a recognized leader in health program management, health system strengthening and the total market approach to achieve universal health care. She has deep experience in healthcare quality improvement, community-based frontline health workers, and healthcare delivery to vulnerable populations, from those living in fragile states to the urban poor.

Dr. Silimperi earned her BS in Zoology/Psychology and her MD from Duke University, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. She completed her pediatric residency at the University of Washington, where she developed an ethno-pediatric learning program and established a refugee clinic focused on the needs of refugees and immigrants from Southeast Asia. Dr. Silimperi also spent a year in Sweden as a Rotary Scholar and in Taiwan as one of the first Luce Scholars. She served as an EIS Officer in the CDC’s Arctic Investigation Lab, followed by several years in the tundra of Alaska, as the medical director of the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation. 

Dr. Silimperi began her international career at Johns Hopkins, working in Bangladesh at the International Center for Diarrheal Disease Research. Prior to joining Duke’s faculty, her career focused on the practice of global health in the context of low- and middle-income countries, and she has lived or directly worked in more than 30 countries. Over a span of several decades, she held country level and international technical or management leadership positions in several large development companies, and for the last 12 years held positions of executive management at Management Sciences for Health and Abt Associates, where she served as the Senior Vice President for Global Health.

Throughout her career she has been an advocate for the special needs of the most vulnerable populations, and the integral role of community-based health workers to bridge the gap between families, communities and the health system. She has been a leader in key public health strategies from Integrated Management of Childhood Illness to quality improvement and collaborative learning, and more recently, the role of frontline health workers in non-communicable disease care and global security.

Dr. Silimperi joined Duke Global Health Institute in April 2019 as a Visiting Professor of the Practice of Global Health, where she will work closely with the education team to strengthen course offerings and learning experiences to better prepare graduates aimed at global health practitioner careers. Part of her time is spent in the Global Health Innovation Center and Innovations in Healthcare, where she provides both technical and strategic input to programs, catalyzes interaction between GHIC/IiH and other Centers in the Institute around innovation and data science, supports training and capacity building opportunities for students and innovators, and assists in expanding new business opportunities.