Yasmin von Schirnding

  • Adjunct Associate Professor of Environmental Health Sciences
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Yasmin von Schirnding has worked at the interface of health, environment and sustainable development in academia and research, policy development, and service delivery, at local, national and global levels. 

She served in various leadership capacities at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, including as the point person for the Global Program of Action for Sustainable Development (Agenda 21) and as Manager of the Healthy Environments for Children Alliance in the follow-up to the World Summit on Sustainable Development, for which she was WHOs technical lead.

Prior to joining WHO, she was Director of Environmental Health for the City of Johannesburg, and served as Chief Medical Researcher and Specialist Scientist in the Research Institute for Environmental Diseases of the South African Medical Research Council.

Dr. von Schirnding holds a number of degrees in the environmental and health sciences from the University of Cape Town, Stellenbosch University and Harvard University, as well as post-graduate certificates in sustainable cities and communities, and in environmental policy and international development from Harvard University; and a certificate in climate change and health from Yale University.

She has published in national and international peer-reviewed journals and presented at numerous meetings around the world on a variety of topics related to urban environmental health, sustainable development, and environmental epidemiology including childhood lead exposure and housing and health.

She has served on the Board of the International Association for Impact Assessment; and as a Councillor of the International Society of Environmental Epidemiology. 

She has also held positions at the University of Cape Town, is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Medicine and Climate Science at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, is on the faculty at Harvard University and served as Advisor: Health and Sustainable Development in the New York office of the WHO.

Academic Appointments

  • Adjunct Associate Professor of Environmental Health Sciences

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • BSc (Honors), 1979 University of Cape Town
  • MSc, 1982 University of Cape Town
  • BSc (Honors), 1984 Stellenbosch University
  • PhD, 1988 University of Cape Town
  • ALM, 2022 Harvard University


Research Interests

  • Child and Adolescent Health
  • Climate Change
  • Environmental Epidemiology
  • Environmental Health
  • Urban Health