The Harvard Macy Institute and Harvard Medical School have a rich history and legacy of advancing medical education. The journey of the Harvard Macy Institute began in 1994, when Dr. Elizabeth Armstrong, at the behest of Harvard Medical School's Dean, Daniel C. Tosteson, sought to secure a grant from the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation. Having been immersed in curriculum reform at Harvard since 1984, Dr. Armstrong understood the extraordinary demands on clinical faculty and the desire of many clinician educators to learn more about curriculum design and pedagogy. Through this visionary grant submission, the seeds were sown for the birth of the Harvard Macy Institute, with the envisioning of its first two courses. Those two inaugural courses and all the programs developed since have been driven by the principles that guide all our offerings to this day.

In the years that followed, the Harvard Macy Institute grew its influence and network. Dr. Armstong fostered vital relationships with renowned faculty from the Harvard Business School and the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Academic luminaries Clayton Christensen and Robert Kegan were drawn into the mission of HMI early in its history, and both were instrumental in shaping and developing our programs.

Central to the ongoing success of the Harvard Macy Institute are the dedicated members of our vibrant community, whose unwavering commitment continues to shape the institute's unique and impactful courses. Their passion and expertise enrich our programs, ensuring that we remain at the forefront of medical education, empowering countless health professional educators to make a lasting impact in their fields.

About the Founding Faculty Director

Liz Armstrong. Dr. Elizabeth Armstrong served as faculty director of the Institute from 1994 until the spring of 2023. Through Dr. Armstrong’s remarkable leadership, the Harvard Macy Institute has been able to flourish and positively impact the lives and careers of countless scholars worldwide for over 29 years.

Dr. Armstrong was awarded the AAMC Abraham Flexner Award in 2016 for Distinguished Service in Medical Education. She received the Barbara J. McNeill Faculty Award for Exceptional Service to HMS/HSDM. Additionally, she received the AAMC Merrell Flair Award in Medical Education from the Group on Educational Affairs in 2023, which honors an individual who has made major contributions to medical education in North America over a significant period. She holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Lund for her contributions to medical education internationally.

Dr. Armstrong remains actively engaged with education and leadership projects at a range of health care institutions, including Boston Children’s Hospital. She welcomes the opportunity to stay connected with the global Harvard Macy Institute community and can be reached at or


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