JSI: The First 40 Years

The legacy of Joel Lamstein
Founder & President, JSI & World Education

The president of JSI and World Education, Joel Lamstein.

Joel Lamstein founded John Snow, Inc. with Norbert Hirschhorn, M.D. in 1978. He was the president of JSI and the nonprofit JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc. through 2021. Joel was also president of World Education, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of people experiencing poverty through education, economic, and social development programs. 

After graduating from the University of Michigan, Joel worked at IBM before attending the MIT Sloan School of Management. In 1973, he co-founded Management Sciences for Health. Joel is an adjunct senior lecturer at the Harvard School of Public Health and an adjunct professor at the Boston University School of Public Health. 

Joel serves as chair of the board of Seed Global Health and the advisory council of the Children’s Health Fund in New York. He is also chair of the dean’s advisory board at Boston University School of Public Health. He has also served on the board at the University of Michigan School of Public Health and the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies. Joel was on the board of the Global Health Council from 2004 until 2012. 

To launch this next phase, Joel will be an adjunct professor at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, travel around the south with his wife Sarah, and spend time with his grandchildren.

Joel, the organization you created has had a terrific impact for decades on many people and many populations that normally don’t get the attention they deserve. Thank you for your leadership and your hard work. I wish you the best of luck in your retirement.” – Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker

JSI is one of the first places I worked as a young professional where I felt like the organization actively sought to ensure that my colleagues and I enjoyed the work environment. Joel designed a culture through which I was able to develop some of my most cherished friendships.” – Yasmine Lonon

I never thought of leaving JSI, and Joel, it is all because of you. You provide this kind of leadership and you show trust in your staff.” – Nabeela Ali, JSI Country Director, Pakistan

His leadership is living proof that we can and will solve real life problems for some of our most vulnerable, and that we can prioritize our work to make healthcare a human right. His leadership further means that after understanding systemic structural inequity, I still believe great organizations built by good people, are doing effective work, which affect health outcomes and positively impact people’s lives, everyday.” – Sarah Moeckel

Joel sis with two JSI staff members at the 25th anniversary of JSI's presence in Ethiopia.

Joel has had the biggest influence on my career by showing me what leadership really meant. His calm but educational style was such a positive influence on how I would manage my teams as I moved farther in my career. Professionally, I have always held my time at JSI in high regard because of the work we all did; I was so proud of the impact JSI had on underserved communities.” – Banjot Chanana

“I learned my medical and public health craft from a number of institutions, but I learned leadership at JSI.” – Muka Chikuba, JSI Country Director, Zambia

Joel poses with World Education staff members in Nepal.

Joel’s legacy is clear and powerful – he and JSI have brought a tremendous amount of goodness into the world, and he did it while treating everyone around him with consistent compassion, kindness and wise stewardship of precious resources.  Thank you, Joel, for everything that you have done and all you will continue to do.” – Stewart Landers

Thank you, Joel!

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