Vanessa Kerry

Vanessa Kerry

Vanessa Kerry
Vanessa Kerry, May 28, 2009
Born Vanessa Bradford Kerry
(1976-12-31) December 31, 1976
Boston, Massachusetts
Education B.Sc. (summa cum laude honors), M.Sc., M.D. (cum laude honors)
Alma mater
Occupation Chief Executive Officer at Seed Global Health, Staff at Massachusetts General Hospital, Affiliated Faculty at Harvard Medical School
Spouse(s) Brian Vala Nahed (m. 2009–present)
Parent(s) John Forbes Kerry
Julia Stimson Thorne
Website .org.seedglobalhealthwww

Vanessa Bradford Kerry (born December 31, 1976) is an American physician and health care administrator. She is a founder of the non-profit Seed Global Health. Her father is John Kerry, an American politician and the 68th and current United States Secretary of State.


  • Early life and education 1
  • Career 2
    • Seed Global Health 2.1
  • Personal life 3
    • Advocacy 3.1
  • Notes 4
  • External links 5

Early life and education

Kerry was born in Boston, Massachusetts. She is the younger daughter of politician John Forbes Kerry (born 1943) and writer Julia Stimson Thorne (1944–2006). Her sister Alexandra (born 1973) is a film director and producer.[1] After her parents divorced, she moved with her mother to Bozeman, Montana. She attended Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts for high school.

Kerry graduated from Phillips Academy, Andover and summa cum laude from Yale University with a major in biology. While a student at Yale, she played for the varsity lacrosse team. After graduating with her bachelor's degree, she went to Harvard Medical School where she graduated with honors. She took a year from Harvard to attend the London School of Economics and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, earning her master’s of science in health policy, planning and financing. While in London, she was a Fulbright Scholar.[2]

While in medical school, she interned with the Vaccine Fund of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, founded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; she conducted a study on immunization in Ghana. She later studied and advised on government relations for health and development in Rwanda in partnership with Partners in Health.


Kerry completed her internal medicine residency and critical care fellowship at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. She is now a physician specializing critical care. Kerry has continued work in international health and has collaborated on projects in Haiti and Rwanda through the Harvard Medical School Department of Global Health and Social Medicine. She is also actively working on public sector partnerships in Uganda through Massachusetts General Hospital and MGH Global Health.

Seed Global Health

Active in global health for many years, in 2011 Kerry started the non-profit Seed Global Health (formerly called Global Health Service Corps) which has partnered with the Peace Corps to develop the Global Health Service Partnership.[3] The Partnership sends health professionals abroad to work as medical and nursing educators and to help build capacity. The medical and nursing educators serve as force multipliers to create new generations of skilled professionals who can help strengthen health systems. The program has sent over 100 volunteers since July 2013, training over 2500 students, doctors and nurses a year. The program is currently active in Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda.[4] In December 2014, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), announced an additional $16.5 million to support the program for three years in its current countries and to expand it to two more.[5]

Seed Global Health also provides loan repayment and other stipends to help support the program's mission. In 2010 Kerry wrote an op-ed on this idea for

External links

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On September 19, 2013 she spoke at San Diego State University about health care and health care diplomacy.[18] She has also spoken at a number of other venues around the US including Aspen Ideas Festival, Millenium Campus Network Conferences, TedX Boston,[1] and for the UN Foundation, for e.g.

Kerry took a leave from her medical studies in order to campaign for her father's, then Barbara and Jenna to encourage voting. Through her work with her father and her public health policy education, she has not ruled out running for political office in the future.[17]


On October 10, 2009 in Boston, Kerry married in Boston to Massachusetts General Hospital neurosurgeon Brian Vala Nahed,[2] who specializes in brain tumors and spinal disorders.[11] Dr. Brian Nahed also leads a research project on patients brain tumors.[12][13] In 2012, she gave birth to their son and in 2015 to their daughter.[14] [15] She is a former member of the Board of Directors of Young Democrats of America and is a term member to the Council on Foreign Relations.

Personal life

Kerry is the Associate Director of Partnerships and Global Initiatives at MGH Global Health and spearheads the program in Global Public Policy and Social Change at the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine. She is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and serves on its faculty.