Founders and Co-Presidents

Arash Alaei

Arash Alaei, M.D, is co-founder and co-President of the Institute for International Health and Education. He is a physician who bravely broke the silence on HIV/AIDS in the very conservative Muslim setting of Iran. He has an established track record of cooperation with international scientists to foster medical diplomacy. He worked as the Director of Education and Research for the National Research Institute of Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases at Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences and the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre in Iran. Prior to establishing the IIHE, he and his brother founded the Global Institute for Health and Human Rights (GIHHR) at the State University of New York at Albany in 2012, a university-wide research and education institute that focused on developing interdisciplinary programs in the fields of health and human rights. He was Associate Vice-Provost and Clinical Associate Professor at the SUNY-Albany, vice chair of the School of Public Health Council and a member of the admission committee.

Since March 2017, he has been selected as a member of Technical Review Panel of the Global Fund in its Human Rights and Gender team. He has extensive, singular experience in the field of both clinical and non-clinical aspects of community-based care and HIV/AIDS and addiction in the Middle East. His work has involved integrating HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment with addiction in the primary health care services.

He wrote the proposal for the UNDP office and the Ministry of Health in Tajikistan to control HIV 2018-2020 and was awarded with the amount of $13.5 million by the Global Fund. He also has been consultant of USAID-US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to help the implementation of the above award.  

As well as his strong background in developing and teaching numerous interdisciplinary undergraduate and postgraduate courses he has also developed innovative online higher education courses in the health sciences for displaced students via smart phones. 

His demonstrated background in medicine, research, training, integrated community care, curriculum development, higher education and the facilitation of international exchange work has allowed him to facilitate strong collaborations in research and education, both nationally and internationally. 

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Kamiar Alaei

Kamiar Alaei, MD, MPH, DrPH, MS, MSt, is the co-founder and co-President of the Institute for International Health and Education. He is an expert on HIV/AIDS, drug policy and International Health and Human Rights. He and his brother Arash co-founded the first ‘Triangular Clinic’ for three target groups in Iran (drug users, HIV patients, and STD cases), documented by the World Health Organization as a ‘Best Practice Model’ for HIV/AIDS and injecting drug users prevention and care. 

Dr Kamiar Alaei’s extensive experience in both global health policy and international human rights law has allowed him to focus on the intersections between international health and international law, while remaining sensitive to the needs and realities of vulnerable target groups for health and human rights, such as women, refugees, displaced populations and prisoners. He has extensive lecturing, training and public speaking experience around the world. 

He has a unique convening power in bringing academic research bodies, government authorities and NGOs together to collaborate on health and human rights projects tending to the most vulnerable in societies around the world. Having published over 35 scientific papers, his academic expertise is on HIV/AIDS policy and drug policy with a focus on Central America, the Middle East and Central Asia.  


In recognition of their work, Drs. Kamiar and Arash Alaei were awarded the following:

They have authored and co-authored numerous peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, encyclopedia entries and commentaries in prestigious publications including the Lancet Global Health and the British Medical Journal. The co-founders have been featured and interviewed by major academic journals such as Nature, Science and the Lancet. Their global efforts have been well received in their numerous invited keynotes and plenary talks in international conferences in over 30 countries over more than 2 decades.