Michael P. Birt

Executive Director of the Pacific Health Summit


Executive Director of the Pacific Health Summit
The National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR)


Michael Birt is currently Director of the Center for Sustainable Health at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute and Professor in the W. P. Carey School of Business. He simultaneously serves as Executive Director of the Pacific Health Summit as well as Affiliate Investigator at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Prior to taking on his role at the Center for Sustainable Health, Dr. Birt was Senior Vice President at NBR and the founding director of NBR’s Center for Health and Aging. Dr. Birt joined NBR in 2003 to launch the Center for Health and Aging. In 2004, he became the founding Executive Director of the Pacific Health Summit and worked closely with the Summit’s founding co-chairs, George F. Russell, Jr. and William H. Gates, Sr., and Lee Hartwell, to make the Summit a premier event on the global health calendar.

Dr. Birt has extensive experience in the private sector and the academic world as well as non-profits, includingthe successful launch, development and stock sale of a leading U.S.-Asia biomedical business development company, a U.S.-registered corporation with offices in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. He also founded Infoplan Consulting, a division of McCann-Erickson Hakuhodo, a leading advertising and market research firm located in Tokyo. He has consulted for many of the world’s leading healthcare, medical technology, and consumer product companies. In addition, Dr. Birt has personally funded and led the Pacific Health Alliance, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation, which focused on the development of educational exchange and collaboration programs between U.S. and Japanese healthcare delivery systems in the field of hospital infection control.

In his academic career, Dr. Birt was an assistant professor at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington and Wellesley College. He has served as a visiting professor at Keio University under a faculty grant from the Japan Foundation and as a nominated recipient of a Ministry of Education faculty appointment at Hitotsubashi University. Dr. Birt received his PhD in East Asian Studies from Princeton University and is fluent in spoken and written Japanese. He also completed the Certificate Program in Gerontology at the University of Washington.

He is co-author of Negotiating the Gray Maze: The Business of Medicine in Japan (1997) and has written articles for the Asian Wall Street Journal, Journal of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan, as well as numerous industry consulting reports. He also authored “Chronic Neglect: Meet the Developing World’s New Health Emergency—the Rich World’s Diseases” in Foreign Policy (September/October 2006).

Contact: Seattle Office

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