Heather Wood Ion, Senior Fellow, is an executive and cultural anthropologist who specializes in turning around troubled organizations and communities. Her doctoral work on social and cultural recovery from disasters has been applied to assist communities and corporations in trouble all over the world. She has turned around companies in financial and personnel troubles, communities locked in adversarial paralysis, social service agencies, corporations that have lost their mission, and start-ups unable to cope with growth. For the last seven years of his life, Jonas Salk, MD, relied on Heather Ion as his editor, sounding board and collaborator on issues of international health policy, and in establishing the science of hope. She has taught in universities in Oxford, Kyoto, Heidelberg, Michigan and California and has created pioneering multidisciplinary programs in ethics, geriatrics, medical humanities, business and philosophy. She is the founder of The Epidemic of Health, a nonprofit enterprise dedicated to increasing vitality and spreading what works to build human resilience.
Her first book, Third-class Ticket, has been translated into Italian, Hindi, Japanese and Chinese, and is currently being made into a feature film. Another book, with Saul Levine MD, Against Terrible Odds, applies her knowledge of social and cultural recovery to the profound issues of individual resilience. She has published over 280 articles and has been keynote speaker for, among others, the World Literacy Council, the MacArthur Foundation, the Visiting Nurse Associations of America, and the National Association of Women’s Health Professionals.