Jonathan Mann (1947-1998) and his wife, Mary Lou Clements-Mann, a world-renowned expert on vaccines and founder of the Center for Immunization Research at Johns Hopkins University, were killed on September 2, 1998 in the crash of SwissAir Flight 111 on their way to attend a World Health Organization conference in Geneva, Switzerland. Dr. Mann was a world-renowned researcher and champion of human rights whose experiences with international AIDS policies led him to see a link between human rights and health. It was at Dr. Mann's suggestion that the School of Public Health at Harvard began a commencement tradition of awarding each graduate a copy of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with each diploma. He founded Doctors of the World-USA in 1991 as an independent, non-profit, non-sectarian organization working at the intersection of health and human rights.
Jonathan Max Mann was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1947. He received a B.A. in history from Harvard College in 1969 and completed his medical education at Washington University School of Medicine in 1974. After an internship year at Boston's Beth Israel Hospital, Dr. Mann was sent to New Mexico by the Centers for Disease Control's Bureau of Epidemiology to work with the state's Health and Social Services Department as State Epidemiologist. He received his Masters in Public Health from Harvard in 1980 and returned to the state to a position with the New Mexico Health and Environment Department. In his last years in New Mexico, Dr. Mann was elected president of the New Mexico Public Health Association and the Santa Fe County Medical Association.
From 1984 to 1986, Dr. Mann was Director of the Zaire AIDS Research Programme (Project SIDA), a project that incorporated epidemiologic, clinical, and laboratory components in a collaborative effort among Zairian, Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and Belgian AIDS researchers. He also was the Assistant to the Director of the CDC's AIDS Program for International Activities. From the CDC, he moved to the World Health Organization in Geneva to start its Global Programme on AIDS. In 1990 Mann returned to the Harvard School of Public Health as a professor in epidemiology and international health. In 1993 he was appointed the first Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Professor of Health and Human Rights and founding director of the Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights. In 1998, Mann assumed the deanship of the School of Public Health of the Allegheny University of Health Sciences in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
From the guide to the Jonathan M. Mann Oral History, 1996, (New Mexico Health Historical Collection, UNM Health Sciences Library and Informatics Center.)