The World Health Summit brings together leading researchers, physicians, government officials, and representatives from industry and civil society worldwide. Speakers at the World Health Summit 2020 include:
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has been Director-General of the World Health Organization since 2017. Upon assuming office, he outlined five key priorities for the WHO: universal health coverage; health emergencies; women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health; health impacts of climate and environmental change; and a transformed WHO. Tedros is globally recognized as a health scholar, researcher, and diplomat with first-hand experience in research, operations, and leadership in emergency responses to epidemics. He previously served as Ethiopia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ethiopia’s Minister of Health, and Chair of the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.
Peter Albiez is the Country Manager of Pfizer Germany. After joining Pfizer in 1996, he held positions of increasing responsibility within sales and marketing. In 2009, Peter was appointed Head of Primary Care and joined the Pfizer Germany Executive Management Board. In March 2015, he was named Country Manager of Pfizer Germany. Peter is actively engaged in professional organizations whose goals reflect his personal beliefs of advancing healthcare and supporting cultural exchange. He is an Advisory Board Member and Cluster Speaker of HealthCapital Berlin-Brandenburg and Chairman of the Regional Board Berlin/Brandenburg of the Association for the Promotion of Humanities and Sciences in Germany. In addition, he is Chairman of the Board of the Society of Friends of the Max Delbrueck Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC). Peter holds a Master of Science in Biology.
Michelle Bachelet Jeria assumed her functions as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on September 1, 2018. She is the seventh Commissioner to hold the office, which was established in 1993. Bachelet was previously President of Chile (2006-2010 and 2014-2018), and was the country's first female president. She also served as Chile's Health Minister (2000-2002) an was Latin America’s first female Defense Minister (2002-2004). Prior to her appointment as High Commissioner for Human Rights, Bachelet held a number of UN positions in the areas of women's rights and maternal, newborn, and child health. She has a Medical Degree in surgery, with a specialization in pediatrics and public health.
Dr. Manica Balasegaram is GARDP’s Executive Director and has been instrumental in leading GARDP through its three-year incubation to an independent legal entity, during which time GARDP launched four programmes and built a skilled and dedicated team with expertise from a range of sectors and backgrounds. Manica trained as a medical doctor at the University of Nottingham, UK from where he started his career in internal and emergency medicine. From 2001 onwards, he worked as a doctor and researcher in several countries in Sub- Saharan Africa and Southern Asia. He also gained significant experience working in humanitarian emergencies and responses, largely with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). At the end of 2007 he joined the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative as Head of Leishmaniasis Clinical Program – a position he held for four years before returning to MSF as Executive Director of their Access Campaign. He was appointed Director of GARDP in June 2016. He is also currently a board member of the Medicines Patent Pool as well as of FIND’s Scientific Advisory Committee. Manica’s experience spans clinical and public health practice in infectious diseases and international work on health policy & access to medicines. He has served on numerous technical and health policy panels and expert groups. He also has substantial experience in conducting and overseeing clinical trials and drug development projects.
Winnie Byanyima assumed her functions as Executive Director of UNAIDS since 2019.
Prior to that, she has been the Executive Director of Oxfam International and served as the Director of Gender and Development at the United Nations Development Programme.
Ms Byanyima began her career as a champion of marginalized communities and women 30 years ago as a member of parliament in the National Assembly of Uganda. In 2004, she became the Director of Women and Development at the African Union Commission, working on the Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa, an international human rights instrument that became an important tool for reducing the disproportionate effect of HIV on the lives of women in Africa.
She holds an advanced degree in mechanical engineering (in energy conservation and the environment) from the Cranfield Institute of Technology and an undergraduate degree in aeronautical engineering from the University of Manchester.
Dr. Roopa Dhatt is a physician by training and an advocate by principle, striving for greater health and well-being for all people through working in global health. She is the Executive Director and co-founder of Women in Global Health, a movement that strives to bring greater gender equality to global health leadership. Since its foundation Women in Global Health, an organization staffed entirely by volunteers, has expanded to become a global movement, with chapters in four continents and more than 21,000 followers in 90+ countries.
Christian Drosten is the Director of the Institute of Virology of the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin. This year he has become an internationally respected COVID-19 expert. In 2003 he discovered the unknown virus causing SARS and developed a diagnostic test that enabled public health authorities worldwide to stop a beginning pandemic. Drosten has co-authored more than 300 peer-reviewed papers and coordinated research consortia funded by the European Union, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, and the German Ministry of Research. He is a member of the internal advisory board of the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) and the speaker of the German National Research Network for Zoonotic Infections. He received the German Federal Cross of Merit for his work to counter the SARS epidemic.
Henrietta H. Fore has been UNICEF’s Executive Director since 2018. She has worked to champion economic development, education, health, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in a public service, private sector and non-profit leadership career that spans more than four decades. She has previously served as Administrator for USAID and Director of United States Foreign Assistance, Undersecretary of State for Management at the US Department of State, Director of the United States Mint in the US Department of Treasury, and Chair of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Holsman International, a manufacturing and investment company.
Dr. Frieden is a physician trained in internal medicine, infectious diseases, public health, and epidemiology. He began his public health career in New York City confronting the largest outbreak of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis to occur in the US. He was then assigned to India, on loan from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where he helped scale up a program for effective tuberculosis diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring. Asked to return to New York City to become Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s Health Commissioner, he directed efforts to reduce smoking and other leading causes of death that increased life expectancy by 3 years. As Director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Frieden oversaw the work that helped end the 2014 West Africa Ebola epidemic. Dr. Tom Frieden now leads Resolve to Save Lives, a $225 million, 5-year initiative of Vital Strategies, which aims to save millions of lives from cardiovascular disease and make the world safer from epidemics.
Dr. Stefan Germann is the CEO of Fondation Botnar, which works to improve the health and wellbeing of children and young people in growing secondary cities, connecting diverse partners and investing in solutions that leverage AI and digital innovation. Germann was previously Executive Director of onegoalglobal.org, an innovative collaborative child nutrition and healthy lifestyle campaign, and Senior Director of the World Vision International Sustainable Health Partnership, Innovation and Accountability unit based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He has also held several board and advisory board memberships.
Lawrence O. Gostin is University Professor, Georgetown University’s highest academic rank, and Founding O’Neill Chair in Global Health Law. He directs the World Health Organization Center on National and Global Health Law. Gostin is Professor of Medicine at Georgetown University and Professor of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. The WHO Director-General appointed Prof. Gostin to high-level positions, including expert panels on the International Health Regulations (IHR) and on Mental Health. He served on the Director-General’s Advisory Committee on Reforming WHO, as well as WHO expert advisory committees on pandemic influenza, smallpox, genomic sequencing, and migrant health. He served on WHO’s Blue Ribbon Panel on global health equity. He co-chairs the Lancet Commission of Global Health Law.
Sir Andrew Haines is Professor of Environmental Change and Public Health at LSHTM, with a joint appointment in the Department of Public Health, Environments, and Society and in the Department of Population Health. He was previously Director (originally Dean) of LSHTM for nearly 10 years, and before that Professor of Primary Health Care at University College London. He worked part-time as a general practitioner in North London for many years and has been a member of a number of major international and national committees. Haines was knighted in 2005 for his services to medicine.
Dr. Rachel Huxley is Director of Knowledge and Learning, responsible for C40’s knowledge management strategy and research program. Rachel has been with C40 for over 4 years during which time she has developed and led a priority program of research on the multiple benefits of urban climate action and overseen the launch of C40’s flagship Knowledge Hub. Prior to this Rachel was Chief Executive of Peterborough Environment City Trust, leading the Trust’s work on sustainable behavior change and engagement project delivery, as well as, working strategically with city partners to develop a sustainable city plan. As part of her work on sustainable cities Rachel established and led the Sustainable Cities Network, an informal network of leading UK cities to enable sharing of best practice and challenges. Rachel has a PhD from the University of Leeds on the processes and practices of sustainable transition and decision making in cities.
Dr. Jayasree K. Iyer leads the Access to Medicine Foundation as Executive Director, directing strategy, stakeholder dialogues, and research programs. As a spokesperson, she is actively involved in stimulating change within the pharmaceutical industry. She has worked at the interface of the global health community and the pharmaceutical industry for 12 years. Before joining the Foundation, Iyer was responsible for creating, negotiating, and managing public private partnerships in R&D for infectious diseases and oncology. She has worked at NGOs, academic institutions and think tanks.
Dr. Natalia Kanem is the Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations sexual and reproductive health and rights agency. Appointed by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres in 2017, Dr. Kanem has more than 30 years of strategic leadership experience in the fields of preventive medicine, public and reproductive health, social justice and philanthropy. Dr. Kanem holds a medical degree from Columbia University in New York, and a Master’s degree in Public Health with specializations in epidemiology and preventive medicine from the University of Washington in Seattle. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard University in history and science.
After holding several positions including Staff Scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Immunobiology in Freiburg and Chair of the Department of Immunology at the University of Ulm, he became the Founding Director of the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin. Since 2019 he is Director Emeritus at this institute. The Microbiology and Immunology expert is a member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BBAW) and the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.
Prof. Ilona Kickbusch’s work focuses on the political determinants of health, health in all policies, and global health. She established the Global Health Centre at the Graduate Institute and served as its director until 2019. She advises countries on global health strategies and trains health specialists and diplomats in global health diplomacy. Among other positions, Kickbusch is a member of the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board and the WHO High-Level Independent Commission on NCDS and is co-chair of UHC 2030. She acts as Council Chair to the World Health Summit in Berlin. She has had a distinguished career with the WHO and chairs the international advisory board for the development of the German global health strategy.
Bernardo Mariano Junior is the Chief Information Officer at the World Health Organization. In this role, he is responsible for coordinating WHO’s digital health vision and strategy. He leads and oversees all aspects of information technology, data security, and enterprise applications, ensuring WHO is advancing its digital capabilities to deliver its global health goals effectively.
Carlos A. Nobre is an Earth System scientist from Brazil. He graduated in Electronics Engineering from the Aeronautics Institute of Technology (ITA), Brazil, in 1974 and obtained a PhD in Meteorology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA, in 1983. He dedicated his scientific carrier mostly to Amazonian and climate science at Brazil’s National Institute of Amazonian Research (INPA) and National Institute of Space Research (INPE). He is a former National Secretary of R&D of Ministry of Science and Technology of Brazil and former President of the Federal Agency for Post-Graduate Education-CAPES. He is foreign member of the US National Academy of Sciences, member of the Brazilian Academy of Science and of the World Academy of Science. He was awarded the Volvo Environmental Prize in 2016, the Von Humboldt Medal of EGU in 2010 and was one of the authors of IPCC AR4 awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.
Tolullah Oni is a Public Health Physician Scientist and urban epidemiologist, a Clinical Senior Research Associate and joint lead of the Global Public Health at the University of Cambridge MRC Epidemiology Unit, and Honorary Associate Professor in Public Health at the University of Cape Town. Born in Lagos, she completed her medical training at University College London, postgraduate medical training in the UK and Australia, a Masters degree in Public Health (Epidemiology) at the University of Cape Town, and a research doctorate in Clinical Epidemiology at Imperial College London. She leads the Research Initiative for Cities Health and Equity (RICHE) conducting transdisciplinary urban health research generating evidence to support development and implementation of healthy public policies in rapidly growing cities, with a focus on Africa. She serves on several advisory boards including Future Earth and the African Academy of Science Open Research Platform; and is an editorial board member of Lancet Planetary Health, Cities and Health, and the Journal of Urban Health. Profiled in the Lancet (2016), Science magazine (2018), and the British Medical Journal (2019), she is a Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences, immediate past co-chair of the Global Young Academy, 2015 Next Einstein Forum Fellow, and a 2019 World Economic Forum Young Global Leader.
Peter Piot was the founding Executive Director of UNAIDS and Under Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1995 until 2008, as well as the Associate Director of the WHO Global Programme on AIDS. He was a co-discoverer of the Ebola virus, and his research focuses upon HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections, and women’s health.
Dr. Céline Pulcini is a full professor of infectious disease in Nancy, France. Her main research interests lie in antimicrobial stewardship and vaccination practices with the aim of preventing the emergence of bacterial resistance to antibiotics. Prof. Pulcini is chair of ESGAP, the European Society for Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) Study Group for Antimicrobial stewardship. She also serves as an expert for the National Antibiotic Plan as well as National Project Manager for Antimicrobial Resistance of the French Ministry of Health, for the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, and the World Health Organization.As well as serving as an associate editor for the journal Clinical Microbiology and Infection, Céline Pulcini has also authored or co-authored more than 180 international publications. In 2017, she received the ESCMID Young Investigator Award.
Dr. Mike Ryan has been at the forefront of managing acute risks to global health for nearly 25 years. He served as Assistant Director-General for Emergency Preparedness and Response in WHO's Health Emergencies Programme from 2017 to 2019. Dr. Ryan first joined WHO in 1996, with the newly established unit to respond to emerging and epidemic disease threats. He has worked in conflict affected countries and led many responses to high impact epidemics. He completed medical training at the National University of Ireland, Galway, a Master’s in Public Health at University College Dublin, and specialist training in communicable disease control at the Health Protection Agency in London and the European Programme for Intervention Epidemiology Training.
Jens Spahn is Germany’s Federal Minister of Health. He is a member of the German Bundestag and part of the center-right party Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU), which governs in partnership with the center-left Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). Spahn was party speaker for health policy from 2009-2015 and then served as Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of Finance before becoming Minister of Health in March 2018.
Prior to his leadership role at the IFRC, Mr Sy was UNICEF’s Director of Partnerships and Resource Development in New York. He has also served as UNICEF Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa and Global Emergency Coordinator for the Horn of Africa. Mr Sy held leadership positions with the United Nations Development Programme in New York, with the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and with UNAIDS. Before joining the United Nations, Mr Sy served as Director of Health and Development Programmes with Environment and Development Action in the Third World in Dakar, Senegal. Mr Sy holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts and Human Sciences from the University of Dakar. He then pursued Master’s studies in Arts and Germanistik at the University of Graz and graduated from the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna. He was also awarded a postgraduate diploma in Education from the École normale supérieure in Dakar. He speaks English, French and German and is a national of Senegal.
Dr. Marta Temido has served as Portugal’s Minister of Health since 2018. She has also served as Chair of the Board of Portugual’s national health system and of several hospitals. Temido holds a PhD in International Health from Universidade Nova de Lisboa, as well as a law degree and master’s degree in health economics and management from the University of Coimbra. She has authored and co-authored several scientific publications on health topics.
Marisol Touraine is a French politician who served as Minister of Social Affairs and Health from 2012-2017, and was elected chair of the Executive Board of Unitaid in 2019. Ms. Touraine is a senior member of the Conseil d’État, France’s highest administrative court, and an international health and social welfare consultant.
In her ministerial post, she worked to improve HIV/AIDS prevention and early diagnosis, promoted universal hepatitis C treatment with innovative drugs, implemented plain tobacco packaging and launched a nutrition labelling system.
Dr. Effy Vayena is Professor of Bioethics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich (ETH Zürich). In her work, she investigates how advances in science can be ethically applied for best outcomes in public and personal health. Vayena completed her education as a social historian with a PhD in Medical History from the University of Minnesota and a habilitation on Bioethics and Health Policy at the University of Zurich. A keen interest in health policy led her to work for the World Health Organization where she served as a technical officer for several years. Upon her return to academia, Vayena was awarded a Swiss National Science Foundation professorship and founded the Health Ethics and Policy Lab. The lab’s purpose is to tackle ethical questions that arise at the cutting edge of biotech research, in areas such as genomic technologies and big data analytics for healthcare. The lab moved to ETH Zurich in 2017.
Ursula von der Leyen is a German politician and has been the first female President of the European Commission since December 2019. She is a member of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the European People's Party (EPP). She has previously served in the federal government of Germany as Federal Minister of Defence, Federal Minister of Labor and Social Affairs as well as Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth.
Prof. Lothar H. Wieler is president of the Robert Koch Institute, the national public health institute in Germany. The Robert Koch Institute is in charge of health monitoring and surveillance, pandemic preparedness, and preventing and recognizing attacks with biological agents. Prof. Wieler's own research focus has been zoonoses, particularly on molecular mechanisms, enabling bacterial pathogens to infect different hosts, and develop antibiotic resistance. He is author/co-author of more than 220 peer-reviewed papers. Wieler is also deputy spokesperson of the intersectoral research consortium InfectControl 2020 and a member of the scientific advisory board of the Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness (GloPID-R), the WHO Europe Advisory Committee on Health Research (EACHR), and the WHO Strategic and Technical Advisory Group on Infectious Hazards (STEG-IH). Since 2010, he is an elected member of the German National Academy of Sciences.