Sharon Perry, 1949-2015
I had the pleasure of meeting Sharon Perry a couple of times through the National Committee on North Korea, but was always impressed by the work she did with the Stanford-North Korea Tuberculosis Diagnostics Project. An epidemiologist focused on chronic infectious diseases in developing countries, Sharon collaborated with colleagues from Stanford University (in both the Medical School and Political Science department), the Nuclear Threat Initiative, Christian Friends of Korea, the World Health Organization, and others to develop and direct the project. Sharon worked with the North Korean Ministry of Health to address an ongoing public health challenge: the stubborn persistence of TB in the country. Her approach was low-key and self-effacing, exactly what is required to actually get something done in the country. Her passing is sad, as is the fact that so few of us who work on North Korea have those qualities and those that do get so little credit.