Photo credit: Ryan Lash, TED.

 

Nassim Assefi is a physician, teacher, novelist, content curator, health tech consultant, and civic innovator who enjoys living at the intersection of many worlds.  Her doctoring is a blend of internal medicine, gynecology, psychiatry, human rights, and public health.  Her consulting work ranges from primary care health strategies for the low income world to health tech start-ups.  Her novels (Aria, published by Harcourt and translated into 5 other languages, and forthcoming Say I Am You) explore complex issues like grief and humanitarianism. Currently on a service-learning sabbatical in Japan and Morocco, Nassim's last big job was as interim Executive Director of MEDICC, an NGO that translates the remarkable public health achievements of Cuba to the US context and beyond. Before that, she was Director of Stage Content for TEDMED, the health and medicine edition of the TED Conference, leading speaker and performer selection and coaching for TEDMED's annual event. More distant past incarnations include: academic at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, global health aid worker (and underground salsa dance teacher) in Afghanistan, aspiring musician in Havana, and creative nomad in Turkey. On the side, she has been defending human rights in a medical context (of prisoners and refugees), practicing medicine in a community health clinic serving "urban vulnerables" (the US correlate of her global health work), doing health and career coaching, speaking and podcasting (co-host and producer of The Art of Risk Podcast), and pilot testing civic experiments.  A second generation Iranian-American and soloist parent based in Seattle, Nassim has traveled to more than 50 countries and speaks (and can be coaxed to sing in) five languages. Awards include: a TED Global Fellowship, Hedgebrook Writing Residency, University of Washington's Woman of Courage, Jack Straw Fellowship, and Seattle Metropolitan's Top Doctor.  She is a graduate of Wellesley College, the University of Washington School of Medicine, and Harvard/Brigham and Women's Hospital internal medicine residency program. When asked the inevitable "What do you do?" question, Nassim has fun making up futuristic-sounding job titles like philomath, expert generalist,  social justice entrepreneur, and thrillionaire.


 Photo credit: TEDMED

Photo credit: TEDMED