Speakers

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 2019 include:

Volker ter Meulen

President, InterAcademy Partnership

Volker ter Meulen qualified as MD in 1960 and received a training in virology in the USA. A specialist in pediatrics and in clinical virology, he became a full professor in 1975 and Chairman of the Institute of Virology and Immunobiology at Wuerzburg University. He retired in 2002, having twice been elected Dean of the Faculty of Medicine. During his research career, ter Meulen worked on molecular and pathogenic aspects of viral infections in man and animals, in particular on infections of the central nervous system. Ter Meulen has also advised German research organisations and ministries on research topics and served internationally on committees of numerous organisations and scientific societies. From 2003-2010, ter Meulen was President of the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. From 2007-2010, he was President of the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC). Since 2017, ter Meulen has been President of the IAP.

Gerd Müller, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany

Gerd Müller

Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany

Prior to his current post, Gerd Müller held positions as Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of Food, Agriculture, and Consumer Protection and Deputy Head of the Office for Foreign Relations of the Hanns Seidel Foundation. He holds a master's degree in business education.

Elmar Nimmesgern

Secretariat Lead, Global AMR R&D Hub

Dr. Elmar Nimmesgern has been Secretariat Lead at Global AMR R&D Hub since September 2018. He followed different aspects of health research with the European Commission from 2000 to 2018. There, he was Deputy Head of Unit starting in 2013. Prior to that, he was in the strategy unit of the Health Directorate in the Innovative and Personalised Medicine unit. He has also worked at Vertex Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge/MA – USA. A biochemist by training, he has conducted research on molecular chaperones at the University of Munich and at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

Sania Nishtar

Co-chair, WHO High-Level Independent Commission on Non-communicable diseases, Pakistan

Dr. Sania Nishtar is an internationally acclaimed Pakistani physician and public health expert. She currently co-chairs WHO’s High-Level Commission on Non-communicable diseases along with the presidents of Uruguay, Finland and Sri-Lanka. She also co-chairs the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of Healthcare and the U.S National Academy of Sciences Global Study on the Quality of Healthcare in low and middle-income countries. In addition, she also chairs the United Nations International Institute for Global Health’s Advisory Committee.

Miriam Orcutt

Coordinater, UCL-Lancet Commission for Migration and Health

Dr. Miriam Orcutt (MBBS, MSc) is a Migration Health ESRC Fellow at the Institute for Global Health, University College London, a medical doctor, and humanitarian consultant. She is currently working as Coordinator of the UCL-Lancet Commission on Migration and Health and has recently worked for Médecins sans Frontières as a Migration Health Specialist and the World Health Organisation as a Public Health and Migration Consultant. She is a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Conflict and Health Research Group, King’s College London, and a Steering Committee Member of the Syria Public Health Network. Previously she worked as a medical doctor in the NHS. In 2018 she was named a Canadian Woman Leader in Global Health, on the inaugural list by The Lancet.

Vikram Patel

Pershing Square Professor of Global Health, Harvard Medical School

Vikram Patel is a professor of global health and social medicine and psychiatrist whose work over the past two decades has focused on reducing the treatment gap for mental disorders in low resource countries. He is Pershing Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine at the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine of Harvard Medical School in Boston and was awarded a Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellowship in 2015. He is the Co-Founder and former Director of the Centre for Global Mental Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), Co-Director of the Centre for Control of Chronic Conditions at the Public Health Foundation of India, and the Co-Founder of Sangath, an Indian NGO dedicated to research in the areas of child development, adolescent health, and mental health. In April 2015, he was listed as one of the world's 100 most influential people by TIME magazine.

Peter Sands, Executive Director, Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Switzerland

Peter Sands

Executive Director, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Switzerland

A former Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered PLC, Sands has been a research fellow at Harvard University since 2015, working on a range of research projects in financial markets and regulation, fintech, and global health. His engagement with global health issues includes chairing the US National Academy of Medicine's Commission on a Global Health Risk Framework for the Future, chairing the World Bank's International Working Group on financing preparedness, authoring several papers on infectious disease crises, providing policy direction to the UK's National Health Service, and being an active member on both the US National Academy of Science's Committee on Ensuring Access to Affordable Drugs and the Forum on Microbial Threats. Sands has served on various boards and commissions, including as Lead Non-Executive Director of the Department of Health in the United Kingdom, and as a Director of the World Economic Forum.

Jens Spahn, Minister of Health, Germany (© Bundesministerium für Gesundheit)

Jens Spahn

Minister of Health, Federal Republic of Germany

Jens Spahn is a German politician currently serving as Federal Minister of Health in the fourth Merkel cabinet. He is a member of the lower house of the federal parliament, the Bundestag (German: Mitglied des Deutschen Bundestages, MdB) for Steinfurt I – Borken I and is a member of the centre-right Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU), which governs in partnership with the centre-left Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). Spahn was the youngest member of the German parliament, having been elected in 2002 at age 22. He has since then served in the 15th, 16th and 17th Bundestags and is one of the main sponsors of pension reform in Germany. He is a member of the Committee of Health of the 17th Bundestag and chair of the working group on health and health policy as well as the spokesman of the CDU/CSU health parliamentary group

Pavan Sukhdev

President, WWF International Board

Pavan Sukhdev is President of the WWF International Board and CEO of GIST Advisory. He is a scientist by education, an international banker by training, and an environmental economist by passion. His interest and many years of work in sustainability and the invisible economics of nature led to his appointment to head the United Nations’ Green Economy Initiative and to lead the G8+5 study TEEB. In his book Corporation 2020, Pavan envisions tomorrow’s corporation as a producer of not just profits for shareholders, but value for all stakeholders. He has served on the boards of Conservation International (CI), the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC) and on the TEEB Advisory Board. 

Elhadj As Sy, Secretary General, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Switzerland

Elhadj As Sy

Secretary General, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)

Elhadj As Sy is the Secretary General of the IFRC. He began this leadership role on 1 August, 2014 and is based at the IFRC secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland. He has extensive experience in leadership roles in the humanitarian sector, having previously served at a senior level with UNICEF, UNAIDS, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and other agencies for more than 25 years. 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 post graduate diploma in Education from the Ecole normale superieure in Dakar. He speaks English, French, and German and is a national of Senegal.

Lothar H. Wieler,  President, Robert Koch Institute, Germany

Lothar H. Wieler

President, Robert Koch Institute

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.

Thomas Wilckens

CEO, InnVentis Ltd.

Dr. Thomas Wilckens is a medical doctor and a serial entrepreneur. He serves as the CEO of InnVentis Ltd., with a focus on the convergence of multi-omics technologies with real-world clinical data and machine learning to enable precision medicine. He is a recognized thought leader regarding emerging trends, technologies, and the convergence of technologies and business models that drive the disruption of healthcare and related industries. Prior to InnVentis, he was an associate at deep innovation GmbH, a boutique consultancy and spin-off of Vodafone Group R&D Germany serving governments and global player regarding digitization in healthcare and biomedical R&D. In 1998, he founded a drug discovery company as CEO/CSO with a focus on inflammatory and metabolic diseases after winning a business completion in Munich.

Andrea Wulf

Author and Historian, Biographer of Alexander von Humboldt

Andrea Wulf is a full-time writer and the author of six books, most recently The Adventures of Alexander von Humboldt and The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humbold's New World, which has achieved widespread acclaim and is a New York Times bestseller. She has also written for many newspapers including the New York Times, the Guardian, Financial Times, The Atlantic, and Wall Street Journal. She lectures widely around the world.