Global health has attracted growing attention from academic institutions. Its emergence corresponds to the increasing interdependence that characterizes our time and provides a new worldview to address health challenges globally. There is still a large potential to better delineate the limits of the field, drawing on a wide perspective across sciences and geographical areas. As an implementation and integration science, academic global health aims primarily to respond to societal needs through research, education, and practice. From five academic institutions closely engaged with international Geneva, we propose here a definition of global health based on six core principles: 1) cross–border/multilevel approach, 2) inter–/trans–disciplinarity, 3) systems thinking, 4) innovation, 5) sustainability, and 6) human rights/equity. This definition aims to reduce the century–old divide between medicine and public health while extending our perspective to other highly relevant fields. Overall, this article provides an intellectual framework to improve health for all in our contemporary world with implications for academic institutions and science policy.