Josh Ruxin

Development expert and author of A Thousand Hills to Heaven

Josh Ruxin is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Public Health at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, Founder and Executive Director of Health Builders (, and author of A Thousand Hills to Heaven: Love, Hope, and a Restaurant in Rwanda. He has extensive experience operating at the intersection of public health, business and international development.

In 1996, Josh joined the Monitor Group and in 2000, he co-founded and served as vice president of OTF Group, a strategy consulting firm. During his years there and at Monitor, he led projects in a several developing countries and was an advisor to government and private sector leaders on business strategy and economic development.

In 2002, Josh along with Professor Jeffrey Sachs and Rob Glaser founded Health Builders (formerly the Access Project) to support over a dozen countries in acquiring and effectively managing financing by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, and to transparently and sustainably improve their public health systems. Under his leadership, Health Builders secured $1.3 billion for countries working on national strategies and programs. In 2003, Josh led Health Builders to intensify its interventions in a few select countries, and to eventually focus specifically on improving the management of rural health centers in Rwanda. He also founded and directed the Neglected Tropical Disease Control Project, as well as the Millennium Villages Project in Rwanda.

In 2008, Josh and his wife, Alissa, built and opened Heaven Restaurant and Inn, one of Rwanda’s leading venues for hospitality training.

Josh holds a Bachelor of Arts in the History of Science and Medicine from Yale University, where he was a Truman Scholar. He received a Master of Public Health from Columbia University and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in History from the University of London as a Marshall Scholar. He is a frequent contributor to national publications and has been featured in numerous outlets, including the Washington Post, Forbes, Time, Seed magazine, CNN and CNN International’s Inside Africa. He serves on the Board of Generation Rwanda and FilmAid International.

Josh is based in Kigali, Rwanda, where he lives with his wife and three children.