Notable Alums


Specialty: General Preventative Medicine

Graduation Year: 1969

Lawrence Brilliant

Lawrence Brilliant, M.D. ’69, M.P.H., a board-certified doctor in preventive medicine, epidemiology and public health is the president and chief executive officer of the Skoll Global Threats Fund. He heads a team whose mission is to confront global threats imperiling humanity, such as pandemics, climate
change, water safety, nuclear proliferation and the Middle East conflicts.

Dr. Brilliant has served as vice president of Google and executive director of, and is one of the founders of The Seva Foundation, an international non-government organization overseeing programs that have given back sight to more than 3 million blind people in 20 countries.

Dr. Brilliant also worked as a United Nations medical officer in India for more than 10 years, where he helped run the successful World Health Organization’s smallpox eradication program. He recently worked for the WHO polio eradication effort, as well.

Outside the medical field, Dr. Brilliant holds a telecommunications patent and co-founded the virtual community The Well, a pioneering digital community. He has written numerous articles on health policy and related topics, and two books.

Among Dr. Brilliant’s honors are a Community Peacemaker Award from the WSU’s Center for Peace and Conflict Studies, the WSU School of Medicine Distinguished Alumni Award, a TED Prize, Time Magazine accolades as one of the 20 most influential scientists and thinkers, and one of the 100 most influential people in the world, being named “International Public Health Hero” by the University of California and a Global Leadership Award from the United Nations.

He has an honorary doctor of sciences degree from Knox College, and served as a senior technical advisor for the film “Contagion.”