Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

Director-General, World Health Organization



Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was elected as WHO Director-General for a five-year term by WHO Member States at the Seventieth World Health Assembly in May 2017.

He is the first WHO Director-General to have been elected from multiple candidates by the World Health Assembly, and the first person from the WHO African Region to serve as WHO’s chief technical and administrative officer.

Immediately after taking office on 1 July 2017, Dr Tedros outlined five key priorities for the Organization: universal health coverage; health emergencies; women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health; health impacts of climate and environmental change; and a transformed WHO.

Prior to his election as WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros served as Ethiopia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2012–2016. In this role he led efforts to negotiate the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, in which 193 countries committed to the financing necessary to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Dr Tedros served as Ethiopia’s Minister of Health from 2005–2012, where he led a comprehensive reform of the country’s health system. All roads lead to universal health coverage for Dr Tedros, and he has demonstrated what it takes to expand access to health care with limited resources.

Rt Hon Helen Clark

Board Chair, the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH)

Former Prime Minister of New Zealand



Helen Clark was Prime Minister of New Zealand for three successive terms from 1999 to 2008. She was the first woman to become Prime Minister following a General Election in New Zealand and the second woman to serve as Prime Minister.

Throughout her tenure as Prime Minister and as a Member of Parliament over 27 years, Helen Clark engaged widely in policy development and advocacy across the international affairs, economic, social, environmental and cultural spheres. She advocated strongly for a comprehensive programme on sustainability for New Zealand and for tackling the challenges of climate change. In April 2009, Helen Clark became Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme. She was the first woman to lead the organization and served two terms there. At the same time, she was Chair of the United Nations Development Group, a committee consisting of all UN funds, programmes, agencies and departments working on development issues. As Administrator, she led UNDP to be ranked the most transparent global development organization. She completed her tenure in April 2017.

Helen Clark came to the role of Prime Minister after an extensive parliamentary and ministerial career. Prior to entering the New Zealand Parliament, Helen Clark taught in the Political Studies Department of the University of Auckland, from which she earlier graduated with her BA and MA (Hons) degrees.

Helga Fogstad

Executive Director, the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH)



Helga Fogstad is the Executive Director of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH). Strongly committed to human rights, public health and gender issues, Ms Fogstad has extensive experience in forging partnerships and consensus building to promote the health and well-being of women, children and adolescents. She is a health economist with more than 30 years of public health experience, including many years in developing countries at subnational and national levels, as well as at the global level within multilateral and bilateral agencies.

Prior to her time at PMNCH, Ms Fogstad was Director of the Department of Global Health, Education and Research at the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), a post she held since 2014. In this and other roles at Norad, she guided Norway’s efforts to promote the rapid scale-up of proven cost-effective interventions, with a special focus on the health MDGs for women and children. In this capacity, she was actively engaged in political mobilization and advocacy initiatives, particularly surrounding the implementation of the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health, and related UN commissions on information and accountability, and on life-saving commodities for women’s and children’s health.

Helga remains involved in many boards and committees, including the Alliance for Health Policy Systems Research, the Global Health Workforce Alliance, UNITAID, GLOBVAC research programme, the Special Programme of Research in Human Reproduction, the Special Programme of Research in Tropical Disease and the Global Fund’s Strategy, Investment and Impact Committee.

Lisa M. Hilmi

Executive Director, CORE Group


Lisa Hilmi is Executive Director of the CORE Group. She has over 30 years of global health experience in 20+ countries, employing both human rights and community-based participatory approaches to address health disparities for women, children and communities. As a nurse, researcher and public health expert, Lisa has worked for global health in policy, research, emergency relief and response, development, workforce development and health systems strengthening, and from local to global levels. She has worked in development settings, led responses to HIV/AIDS/STIs/GBV in refugee and conflict settings, and developed policy for outbreaks, disasters and epidemics in multiple countries. She has led development, relief and rehabilitation efforts with a combined budget exceeding US$ 180 million. Clinically, Lisa has worked in a paediatric hospital as well as community, academic and crisis settings, and has held leadership positions at the UN, Sigma Theta Tau International, international NGOs and foundations.

Master of Ceremonies

Mercy Juma – Broadcast Journalist, BBC Africa


Mercy Juma is a multi-award winning broadcast and print journalist with more than eight years of media experience, currently working as a Bilingual Correspondent at BBC News.  

In 2017, she became the first recipient of the inaugural Michael Elliott Award for Excellence in African Storytelling by The International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) in partnership with ONE and the Elliott family, a continent-wide award that honours journalists in Africa who strives to strengthen people’s voices and illuminate the transformational change taking place on the continent. She was also one of the four 2015 United Nations Dag Hammarskjöld Fund for Journalists Fellows.  

As a speaker and moderator, Mercy has presented on various platforms including the International Journalism Festival and several major global health conferences. She holds a master’s degree in international relations from United States International University – Africa. One of her biggest commitments is towards creating a culture of equality, inclusion and diversity. 

Opening Performer 

Nazeem – Musical Artist



Nazeem is a professional musician and prolific singer-songwriter and guitarist. His first solo album is due for release in 2020 and his earlier songs and videos have received national airtime on radio and TV in Gambia and Senegal. His music is widely available on digital music platforms. His style of music reflects his roots and culture, and is influenced by a two-year residency in Senegal where he regularly performed at Casino du Cape Vert, supporting musicians such as jazzman Vieux Mac Faye, Wolof pop singer Viviane Chidi and Senegalese guitarist Jeanott Mendy. Nazeem performs regularly, both solo and with his band. His music is a mix of Afro pop, acoustic reggae, Afro dancehall, zouk, hip-hop, mbalax and blues. He also works in musical theatre and performed as lead vocalist in Manicure by leading Gambian arts promoters Blaque Magique.

Nazeem is a peace ambassador and advocates for youth empowerment. After a bitter confrontation between young people and the Gambian police in late 2019, he successfully brought these two communities together, hosting a “Peace Concert”. In January 2020 he co-founded Dole Ndawi, a Gambian NGO which uses the transformative power of music as a vehicle for building resilience and positive change among young people. He aims to facilitate international exchange/dialogue between young people in West Africa and internationally to share the different challenges they face in today’s increasingly hostile and unforgiving world. Due to COVID-19 and lockdown, Nazeem has been supporting the COVID-19 response, and his Global COVID Ready Anthem has been adopted by Dr David Nabarro, WHO Special Envoy for COVID-19.

Narjes Shiraghaei K.

Head of the Midwifery Association in Mazandaran Province, Iran


Narjes Shiraghaei K is a midwife, activist, trainer and educator for women’s health and rights in Iran. Over the last decade she has successfully established grassroots movements for sexual health, childbirth rights and women’s health. She has a bachelor’s degree in midwifery and is the Iranian Midwifery Association’s contact point for the International Confederation of Midwives.

Her free-of-charge courses on sexual health for teenage girls at schools in Mazandaran, after some initial resistance, has now been recognized as necessary by schools .

She is currently focusing on her idea for a global network of midwives, to enable equal access for all women to their health and rights. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic she created a social media health taskforce to ensure that women in remote places and around cities continue to have access to health professionals.

Maziko Matemvu

Programs Manager, HeR Liberty Malawi



Maziko Matemvu is a 22-year-old human rights and SRHR advocate, fierce intersectional feminist, author, TV host and SRHR expert from Malawi. As an SRHR advocate, she is Programs Manager for HeR Liberty and the focal point for Malawi in the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health’s  Adolescent and Youth Constituency. Maziko is also the Vice President of the Young Feminist Network in Malawi. She has five years’ work experience in policy reform, advocacy and SRHR programming. Her experience working with marginalized groups, including young people in rural communities, adolescents, young women and LGBTQI, in rural and grassroots communities gives her a unique ability to strategize effectively for meaningful engagement and inclusiveness in different programming frameworks.

As a talk show host on national television in Malawi, Maziko uses the “21st Generation” youth TV show to disseminate objective and correct information and to address myths and highlight stories to generate evidence on issues affecting young people.

As an author, Maziko has published research papers on meaningful youth engagement in decision-making bodies and improving male involvement in antenatal care. As a content developer, she has co-developed toolkits, games and policies to assist young people and adolescents to advocate effectively for their well-being and health. As a youth consultant, she has made key contributions to regional campaigns, including Ending Unintended Pregnancy and What Women Want, and to national policies and strategies on SRHR and adolescent girls and young women. In her free time, she paints and writes spoken word.


Aditi Mukherji

Policy Engagement Coordinator, YP Foundation, India



Aditi is a queer feminist development professional from New Delhi, India. As Policy Engagement Coordinator at The YP Foundation (TYPF), she engages in facilitating young people’s capacity building and participation in policy development and implementation mechanisms on issues of SRHR and gender. She anchors a national policy working group of young leaders and activists to support their long-term engagement with health policies in India. Aditi also coordinates and supports the organization’s engagement with government officials, particularly in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and other CSOs to ensure meaningful youth engagement in platforms and initiatives by them in the areas of SRHR, adolescent health and gender. In 2019, she led a bottom-up consultation process which enabled young people to give their inputs to the adolescent health policy. Aditi previously worked on child rights issues, including child sexual abuse and trafficking.  

She represents TYPF as the Global and Regional (Asia) Focal Point on SDG 5 (gender equality) in the UN Major Group for Children and Youth. She is also the representative for TYPF in the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health and in the UN Economic and Social Commission for the Asia Pacific. She was a member of India’s CSO delegation in the Beijing +25 process and has been involved in the Asia-Pacific Review for the same process. 

Ahmed Arale

Secretariat Director for CORE Polio & Global Health Security Project in the Horn of Africa


Ahmed has over 20 years’ experience of humanitarian and development work with communities in Horn of Africa (HOA) countries, focusing on humanitarian assistance/emergency programming, public health and community empowerment. As a nurse and public health practitioner, Ahmed has worked at various levels of public health sector management, emergency relief and response and health system strengthening. As Secretariat Director of the CORE Polio & Global Health Security Project (CGP-GHS) for HOA, Ahmed provides technical leadership on all aspects of project planning and implementation in Kenya and Somalia, and provides support to CGP secretariats in South Sudan and Ethiopia for timely coordination with WHO and UNICEF’s HOA coordination office in Nairobi. He maintains and develops the project’s relationships with key partners and stakeholders, including Kenya’s and Somalia’s Ministries of Health, USAID, UNICEF, WHO and Rotary International. 

Before joining CGP-GHS, Ahmed was Program Director for Catholic Relief Services Somalia. He led and managed CRS’s emergency and relief programmes in Somalia. Previously, Ahmed worked as Program Manager for BroadReach Healthcare LLC, leading its engagement in a PEPFAR project in Kenya. He also worked as Service Delivery Specialist for Management Sciences for Health (USAID Extending Service Delivery Project). Ahmed’s previous experience in the public sector was as Chief Nursing Officer at Garissa Provincial General Hospital, Kenya. 

Ahmed has two degrees in nursing and is completing his MPH from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK. 

Anayda Portela

Technical Officer, Department of Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health and Ageing, World Health Organization


Anayda Portela is a Technical Officer in the Department of Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health and Ageing at the World Health Organization (WHO/MCA) in Geneva. She has worked with governmental and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) for over 20 years, in designing and implementing programmes for mMaternal, n-Newborn and c-Child hHealth, linking facility-based and community-based services. Particular areas of focus include access to care for underserved populations and womean, and community participation in the design of health programmes and services. In order to achieve this, sShe has specialized in bringing together different stakeholders to identify problems and find solutions, including representatives of governments, health services, NGOs, local leaders, community groups, academia and international partners. She is currently leading WHO’s evidence reviews on health promotion interventions for maternal, newborn and child health, and has supported WHO’s work to address complexity in guideline development, work which requires and interdisciplinary focus. She manages several WHO/MCA implementation research projects, addressing the need to facilitate dialogue between policymakers, researchers, programme implementers and service users, and develop processes to support programme learning.

Anshu Banerjee

Department of Maternal Newborn Child and Adolescent Health and Ageing, World Health Organization


Dr Anshu Banerjee is currently the Director for the Department of  Maternal, New born, Child and Adolescent Health and Ageing in the World Health Organization (WHO). He was earlier the Director (Global Coordination) in the Office of the Assistant Director-General in Family, Women’s and Children’s Health, WHO as well as the WHO Country Representative in Albania and Sudan. While based in Geneva with the Reproductive Health and Research (RHR) Geneva, he was seconded to UNMEER in Accra for the Ebola crisis.  Dr Banerjee holds a PhD in tuberculosis control from the University of Amsterdam, Netherlands, a Master’s in Public Health for Developing Countries from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom, and a medical degree from the University of Antwerp, Belgium.

Antoinette Cooper

Founder of Black Exhale



Antoinette Cooper is a poet, professor and TEDx speaker (Death by Chocolate Cyst: What If My Illness Had a Voice). She is also the founder of Black Exhale, a restorative healing gathering, created to honour Black lives as sacred while providing a safe space to release collective trauma. No matter what form her work takes in the world, it is always concerned with Black wellness, activism and transformation.

In her poetry she looks at how and where trauma sits in our bodies, particularly the Black female body, and how we can find safety for ourselves corporeally. Through the creative she performs similar functions to that as medicine in that her work seeks to diagnose the many factors that contribute to illness. She also teaches writing at Columbia University and Narrative Medicine at CUNY School of Medicine. She has led writing workshops from The Metropolitan Museum of Art to Rikers Island Correctional Facility. She has also led Narrative Medicine workshops for residents of Emergency Medicine who served on the pandemic frontlines at St. Barnabas Hospital, and to contributors of Synapsis: A Health Humanities Journal.

Antoinette was born on the island of Jamaica and raised on the island of New York. She holds a BA from Cornell University and a master’s in fine arts from Columbia University.

Anuradha Gupta

Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance


Anuradha Gupta is Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. Since joining Gavi in 2015, Anuradha has led efforts to put equity and gender at the centre of Gavi’s programmatic planning and to tailor support to countries within Gavi’s strategy. She has also driven efforts to create a new model of country-level Alliance support, through the establishment of the partners’ engagement framework (PEF). At the same time, Anuradha has helped to improve country ownership and leadership of Gavi-supported programmes while enhancing accountability for results.

Prior to Gavi, Anuradha served as Mission Director of the National Health Mission of India, where she ran the largest – and possibly most complex – public health programme in the world with an annual budget of US$ 3.5 billion.

Anuradha has contributed towards a number of important global health initiatives. She served as a member of the Steering Committee for Child Survival Call to Action, co-chaired the Stakeholder Group for the 2012 London Summit on Family Planning and was a member of the Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) Reference Group. Anuradha served as Co-Chair of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH) and is currently a member of the PMNCH Board. She also played a role in shaping the Global Financing Facility (GFF) and is a member of the GFF Investors Group. From 2015 to 2018, Anuradha served on the Merck for Mothers Advisory Board.

Aparajita Gogoi

National Coordinator, White Ribbon Alliance, India


Dr Aparajita Gogoi is Executive Director of the Centre for Catalyzing Change (formerly CEDPA India). C3 works to create lasting systems change at the grassroots, working with adolescent girls and women while leveraging government mechanisms to provide sustainable solutions. Dr Gogoi is a political scientist, an advocate and crusader for realizing the rights of women and girls and works with networks and advocates to affect change by mobilizing action and people. The very successful whatwomenwant campaign was conceived and implemented in India under her leadership and she guides the whatwomenwant campaign as global co-chair. A winner of the WIE Humanitarian Award, Dr Gogoi was named one of the 100 most inspiring women in the world by The Guardian (UK) in 2011. She is also the national coordinator of WRA India and holds a PhD in international politics from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

David Ito

David Ito Healing



David Ito is originally from Spain, of Japanese descent. He is a humanitarian relief worker turned filmmaker turned yoga and meditation teacher. After 15 years working in the field for ICRC, UNICEF and WFP during some of recent history’s worst disasters, David now works in New York City as both a video producer for UNDP and a yoga and meditation teacher. David holds an MSc in public health and nutrition from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and provides wellness and nutritional counselling. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, David has provided free daily online Stretch & Meditate classes to support victims, their families and those who have lost their jobs during the pandemic.

David Roberts

Executive Director, theDifference


David’s work as a strategist, executive coach and facilitator has ranged from small sessions with top thinkers, including Bill Gates, innovator Clayton Christensen, and Fortune 10 CEO John Hammergren, to large-scale engagements addressing complex global health issues. David is Executive Director of theDifference, a 36-person consulting company based in the US.

Due in large part to relationships with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, he and theDifference team have spent the last four years helping with strategies for polio eradication, the Global Vaccine Demand Hub, Equity Reference Group, Immunization Agenda 2030, Joint Learning Network, BMGF Vaccine Delivery team, global COVID-19 response and other related issues.

Formerly, this work involved travel to Geneva, Seattle, Kathmandu, NYC, London, Karachi and elsewhere; now, it involves a 30-foot walk to a laptop computer in the next room.

Prior to his current work on health systems, David focused on corporate strategy and collaborative problem solving. His clients include Google, Levi’s, Genentech, the University of Washington, Deloitte, Hewlett-Packard and IBM. He studied psychology and executive coaching at Pomona College and UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, and continues to study at the Duke Global Health Institute.

David lives in Santa Cruz, CA, is an avid surfer and swimmer, and participates in community musical theatre with his two kids when possible.

Flavia Bustreo

Co-Chair Lancet Commission on GBV and the Maltreatment of Young People



Dr Flavia Bustreo is a leading physician, public health professional and advocate for the health and human rights of women, children, adolescents and the elderly, and is known for taking action on the social and environmental determinants of health. She is currently the Vice-Chair of Botnar Fondation, the co-Chair of The Lancet Commission on Gender-based Violence and Maltreatment of Young People and Chair of the Governance and Nomination Committee at the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH).

Dr Bustreo is a member of several boards, including the United Nations University’s International Institute for Global Health and advises several governmental and non-governmental entities including the Global Future Council on Health and Healthcare of the World Economic Forum.

Dr Bustreo was formerly Assistant Director-General for Family, Women’s and Children’s Health for the World Health Organization (WHO) from 2010 to 2017 and also served as co-Chair of the Board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, from 2015 to 2017. At WHO she led the organization’s work in reproductive, maternal, child, and adolescent health, climate change, ageing, vaccinations, health and human rights, and health and gender equity.

Previously, Dr Bustreo was Executive Director of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health, and served in a variety of roles at WHO, UNICEF, the World Bank, and as Interim Deputy Director of the Child Survival Partnership and Special Advisor to the Prime Minister of Norway, helping shape the government’s US$ 1 billion contribution to infant and child health.

Gabriela Cuevas Barron

President, Inter-Parliamentary Union


Gabriela Cuevas Barron is the president of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. She is a Mexican MP and has been in politics for the last 20 years. She was a senator from September 2012 to July 2018 and now holds a seat in the Chamber of Deputies. She is the Chairperson of the Foreign Relations Committee, which is responsible for the analysis of Mexico’s foreign policy. She is the 29th President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).

Ms Cuevas Barron was a member of the IPU Committee to Promote Respect for International Humanitarian Law (2014–2016) which she chaired for the first year, and the internal auditor for the IPU in 2017.

Ms Cuevas Barron became involved in politics at the age of 15, when she joined the National Action Party (PAN), the main opposition force during Mexico’s transition towards democracy. Together with a group of young people, she founded the Fundación Educa México, AC, which is committed to improving education in Mexico.

Gita Sen

Member, Independent Accountability Panel for Every Woman, Every Child, Every Adolescent


Gita Sen is Distinguished Professor and Director of the Ramalingaswami Centre on Equity and Social Determinants of Health at the Public Health Foundation of India, and Adjunct Professor of Global Health and Population at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. She has a PhD in economics from Stanford University.

She is a founder and currently General Co-coordinator of the Southern NGO network, DAWN (Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era).

Her work has helped to advance gender equality and women’s health through a variety of positions: co-coordinator of the Knowledge Network on Women and Gender Equity for the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health; member of the recent Lancet Commission on Women and Health, of WHO’s Advisory Committee on Health Research, of the UN’s High-Level Task Force for the International Conference on Population and Development Beyond 2014; and Co-Chair of the Pan American Health Organization’s Technical Advisory Group on Gender Equality and Health. She was a member of the UN Millennium Project’s Taskforce on Gender Equality, and the first Chairperson of the World Bank’s External Gender Consultative Group. She has served on the Governing Boards of the UN Research Institute on Social Development and of the UN University, and as Co-Chair of the Society for International Development. She has also been a senior advisor to UNFPA and UN Women.

Jan-Willem Scheijgrond

Vice-President, Global Head, Government and Public Affairs, Royal Philips


Jan-Willem Scheijgrond currently serves as Vice President, Global Government and Public Affairs, at Royal Philips, where he heads the global network within Philips that is responsible for relations with governments and related stakeholders to address societal challenges, particularly in the area of large-scale health-care transformations. He is also responsible for partnerships with international partners, such as the United Nations and International donors. In that role Mr Scheijgrond focuses on partnerships to strengthen health systems in order to achieve universal health coverage.

Mr Scheijgrond is a Board Member of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH), member of the Global Finance Facility Investors Group and Chairman of the UN Global Compact Netherlands. He joined Philips in 2009 as Senior Director as part of the Corporate Sustainability Office with responsibility for risk and reputation management.

He started his career at the United Nations Environment Programme, where he developed best practices guides related to cleaner production for emerging markets. Subsequently, he held a number of sustainability- and government affairs-related functions at the BLC Leather Confederation, Epson and Hewlett-Packard.

Mr Scheijgrond holds a master’s degree in environmental technology from Wageningen University, the Netherlands. He is married and has two children.

Jermoni R. Benson




Jermoni R. Benson is a 15-year-old up and coming poet from the Southeast area of Washington DC. She attends Kipp College Prep and is a rising junior. Jermoni enjoys writing poetry and staying active. Through her poetry, she likes to spread positivity and give her listeners something to think about and take into the world themselves.

Joannie Marlene BEWA

Interim Board Chair, Women in Global Health & Founder Young Beninese Leaders Association (YBLA)


Dr Joannie Marlene Bewa is a family medicine physician, advocate and public health researcher at the University of South Florida College of Public Health, USA, with research experience in adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health, family planning and maternal health. She founded the Young Beninese Leaders Association (YBLA) in Benin Republic in 2010 which reached over 10,000 adolescents and youth on reproductive health, gender and leadership. A member of PMNCH’s Adolescent and Youth Constituency, she is currently also interim Board Chair of Women in Global Health, Advisory Board Member for Merck for Mothers and Chair of the African Women Leaders Young Women Caucus, a joint United Nations and Africa Union initiative to advance gender equality.  

Her engagement in the COVID-19 response includes a series of consultations across the continent on the virus’s impact on health, including on RMNACH, developing a risk communication curriculum for journalists and health communication specialists, as well as documenting best practices for adolescent and youth engagement before, during and after epidemics and pandemics. 

She holds a medical degree from the Faculté des Sciences de la Santé, Université d’Abomey, Benin, and a master’s degree in public health from the University of South Florida, USA, where she is studying for a PhD in public health.

Jonathan Ahadi Luhango

Capacity Building Officer, Democratic Republic of the Congo Country Office, Translators without Borders


Jonathan Ahadi Luhango was born in eastern DRC in 1988. He graduated with an honours degree in clinical psychology in 2013 from Lubumbashi University. Interested in English, he continued his university studies in an English-speaking country, South Africa, where he participated in several courses (including academic writing skills, and qualitative and quantitative methodology) at the University of South Africa, and continues academic research there on “the psychological care of women victims of sexual violence in the east of the DRC”. In 2017, he returned to his country of origin, where he actively participates in the fight against sexual violence against women and gender-based violence within the Tushinde/Heal Africa Goma project. Following his teaching vocation, he joined the Université Libre des Pays des Grands Lacs, Goma, in 2019 and participated in the development of the strategic plan as well as budgeting, fundraising and producing the manual of rules and procedures of management of the Centre for Research and Intervention in Psychology and Education. Since October 2019, he has worked at Translators Without Borders as a Capacity-Building Officer on Ebola and COVID-19 responses for eastern DRC.

Joy Lawn

Professor, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine


Joy is an African-born, British-trained paediatrician and perinatal epidemiologist with 30 years’ experience, including: clinical care, epidemiological burden estimates, design and evaluation of maternal, newborn and child-care services at scale, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Her paediatric training was in the UK, followed by teaching, implementation and research, mainly living in Africa, including a decade with Save the Children. Her MPH was from Emory University, Atlanta, USA, while she worked at CDC, and her PhD is from the Institute of Child Health, London.

She is Director of the MARCH Centre (Maternal Adolescent Reproductive & Child Health) at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, including more than 600 academics. Her main contribution to global health has been developing the evidence base to measure and reduce the global burden of 2.5 million neonatal deaths, 2.6 million stillbirths and 15 million preterm births, including informing the relevant Sustainable Development Goal target. She has published 260+ peer-reviewed papers including leading several influential Lancet series, with wide media and policy uptake. She and her research team work on multi-country studies on newborn health, stillbirths and child development worldwide. She is a champion for women’s research leadership, and one of the few women nominated to membership of both the UK Academy of Medical Sciences and the USA National Academy of Medicine.

Joy Phumaphi 

Co-Chair of the UN Secretary-General’s Independent Accountability Panel for Every Woman, Every Child, Every Adolescent


Ms Joy Phumaphi, Co-Chair of the UN Secretary-General’s Independent Accountability Panel for Every Woman, Every Child, Every Adolescent, is currently Executive Secretary of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance, an alliance of 49 African heads of state and government. In this position, she has overseen the introduction of an accountability and action mechanism for malaria and for women’s and children’s health across the African continent. She was a member of the UN High Level Panel on Global Response to Health Crises, and has served as a member of the UN Reference Group on Economics and as a UN Commissioner on HIV/AIDS and Governance. She served the people of Botswana as Principal Local Government Auditor and subsequently as a Member of Parliament holding portfolio responsibility in the cabinet, first for Lands and Housing, where she introduced the country’s first housing policy requiring that local authorities house all destitute people, and then for Health, where she introduced the first public sector universal ARV programme in the developing world. She later joined the World Health Organization as Assistant Director General for Family and Community Health and was responsible for the 2005 World Health Report, “Making Every Mother and Every Child Count”. She has also served as Vice President for Human Development at the World Bank where she oversaw a dramatic expansion of the network evaluation programme. 

Karla Berdichevsky

Director General of the National Center for Gender Equality and Reproductive Health, Ministry of Health, Mexico


Dr Karla Berdichevsky is Director General of Mexico’s National Center for Gender Equality and Reproductive Health. She holds a medical degree from the National Autonomous University, Mexico, and a master’s degree in public health from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK. She has worked as a consultant for many national and international organizations, including the United Nations Population Fund, The Population Council, The Pan-American Health Organization/World Health Organization, The Regional Working Group for the Reduction of Maternal Mortality / Family Care International (FCI), and the MacArthur Foundation, among others. She has experience in the management and technical design of health-related public policy, with a focus on gender and human rights. 

K. K. Shailaja

Minister for Health and Social Justice and Women and Child Development, Government of Kerala, India


Mrs KK Shailaja Teacher is Minister for Health and Social Justice and Women and Child Development, Government of Kerala, India. She entered politics through the Students Federation of India (SFI) and later become a member of the CPI (M) Central Committee. She is State Secretary of the All India Democratic Women’s Association and Joint Secretary of its Central Committee. She has authored two books, “Indian Varthamanavum Sthreesamoohavum” and “China – Rashtram, Rashtreeyam, Kazhchakal”. She was Chief Editor of “Sthree Sabdam” and also previously worked as a science teacher in Sivapuram High School, Kannur.

Mark Dybul

Co-Director, Center for Global Health Practice and Impact


The Honourable Mark Dybul, MD, is Co-Director of the Center for Global Health Practice and Impact and Professor in the Department of Medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center.

Mark has worked on HIV and public health for more than 25 years as a clinician, scientist, teacher and administrator, and most recently as Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

After graduating from Georgetown Medical School in Washington DC, Mark joined the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases as a research fellow under director Dr Anthony Fauci, where he conducted basic and clinical studies on HIV virology, immunology and treatment optimization, including the first randomized, controlled trial with combination antiretroviral therapy in Africa.

Mark was one of the founding architects in the formation of the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, better known as PEPFAR. After serving as Chief Medical officer, Assistant, Deputy and Acting Director, he was appointed as its leader in 2006, becoming US Global AIDS Coordinator, with the rank of Ambassador at the level of an Assistant Secretary of State. He served until early 2009.

Mark has written extensively in scientific and policy literature, he is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, and has received several awards and honorary degrees, including a doctorate in science, Honoris Causa, from Georgetown University.

Marleen Temmerman

Professor in Obstetrics/Gynecology, Aga Khan University


Prof dr Marleen Temmerman is a global leader in women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health. She brings academic, technical, political, governance, management and leadership skills to the table as well as diplomacy, advocacy, training, consultancy and clinical expertise.  

She is a Professor in Obstetrics/Gynaecology, Director of the Centre of Excellence in Women and Child Health, and UNESCO Chair of Youth Leadership in Science, Health, Gender and Education at the Aga Khan University, Nairobi, Kenya.  

She previously served as: Director of WHO’s Department of Reproductive Health and Research (RHR/HRP); member of the iERG (independent expert review group) to accelerate MDGs 4 and 5; one of the penholders of the UN Secretary-General’s Global Strategy for Women’s, Children and Adolescents’ Health 2016-2030; and Founding Director of the International Centre of Reproductive Health (ICRH) at Ghent University, Belgium, which has sister research organizations in Kenya and Mozambique and is part of a global collaborative network of 27 universities.  

In 2007, Dr Temmerman was elected Senator in the Belgian Parliament where she was a member of the Commission on Social Affairs and Chair of the Commission on Foreign Affairs. She was a member of the European Parliamentary Forum and Chair of the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s HIV/AIDS Advisory Group.  

She is a member of the Guttmacher-Lancet Commission on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in the Post-2015 World, the Lancet Standing Commission on Adolescent Health and the Scientific Advisory Committee of the EDCTP (European and Developing Countries Trial Partnership) and a Senior Fellow of the Institute for Global Health Diplomacy in Geneva. 

Marydale Oppert

Public Health Advisor, International Rescue Committee


Marydale Oppert is a Public Health Advisor for the International Rescue Committee (IRC), where she collaborates with the Emergency Unit and the Health Unit to provide highquality technical assistance to IRC country programmes and emergency response.  

Prior to joining the IRC in 2018, Ms. Oppert served in various positions and roles for public health organizations. Most recently she worked with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), under the Division of Global Migration and Quarantine’s International Border Health Team. She also worked on waterborne illnesses with the CDC’s Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases. Ms. Oppert started her public health career with the Rwanda Zambia Health Research Group (RZHRG) to developing strategies for the prevention of HIV and unplanned pregnancy. 

Ms. Oppert has worked predominantly in outbreaks in fragile settings and works to translate her experience into teaching through the development of outbreak toolkits, trainings, and direct technical support. She has over 10 years of experience in the areas of health, epidemiology, and humanitarian affairs. She received her MPH from Emory University, Georgia, USA.

Maya Alejandra Rodríguez-Reyes

Youth representative on the Board of Directors of Profamilia


Maya Alejandra Rodríguez-Reyes is an undergraduate at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus. She is studying for a double major in sociology and journalism. She is also completing her academic preparation for the curricular sequence in the Women’s and Gender Studies Programme with a minor in human rights. Currently, she is a Mellon Mays Fellow, investigating the sexual and reproductive health and rights of incarcerated trans and cisgendered women in Puerto Rico. For the last six years, she has been a youth representative on the Board of Directors of Profamilias, Puerto Rico, a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of sexual and reproductive rights. She is also a feminist and human rights activist.

Michelle Remme

Research Lead at the United Nations University’s International Institute for Global Health


Michelle Remme, PhD, is a health economist and currently the Research Lead at the United Nations University’s International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH). She has fourteen 14 years of experience as a researcher and policy advisor in global health, having worked in academia, the UN system, donor development cooperation and private consulting. Prior to joining UNU, Dr. Remme served as Assistant Professor in Health Economics at the London School of Hygiene and & Tropical Medicine. She was also a Scientific Collaborator at the Ifakara Health Institute in Tanzania. Additionally, she has consulted for WHO, the World Bank, UNDP, ODI and the South African MRC, among others. Her specific technical areas of expertise include: the economics and financing of HIV, sexual and reproductive health and gender-based violence (GBV) programmes; gender-responsive health policy and programming; social determinants of health and intersectoral planning and financing; and health systems financing.

Muhammad Ali Pate

Director of Global Financing Facility for Women, Children and Adolescents (GFF)



Muhammad Ali Pate is the Global Director, Health, Nutrition and Population (HNP) Global Practice of the World Bank and the Director of Global Financing Facility for Women, Children and Adolescents (GFF), based in Washington DC. Dr. Pate, a U.S. and Nigerian national, was until recently the Chief Executive Officer of Big Win Philanthropy, based in the UK, and prior to that held several senior positions, including that of Minister of State for Health in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.  He was previously in the World Bank Group where he joined as a Young Professional in 2000 and worked on health issues in several regions including Africa and the East Asia and Pacific.

Dr. Pate is an MD trained in both Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, with an MBA from Duke University. Prior to this he studied at the University College London. He also has a Masters in Health System Management from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK.

Natalia Kanem

Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)


Dr Natalia Kanem is Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). 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. She started her research career in academia with the Johns Hopkins and Columbia University schools of medicine and public health. Dr Kanem joined UNFPA in 2014 as the Country Representative in the United Republic of Tanzania and in 2016 was named Deputy Executive Director in charge of programmes. Previously Dr Kanem served as founding president of ELMA Philanthropies, Inc., a private funding institution focusing on Africa’s children and youth, and as a senior associate of the Lloyd Best Institute of the West Indies.  

Dr Kanem holds a medical degree from Columbia University in New York, and a master’s degree in public health, specializing in epidemiology and preventive medicine, from the University of Washington, Seattle. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in history and science. Listed on the 2019 Gender Equality Top 100, Dr Kanem is recognized for her leadership in advocating for rights and choices for women and girls and as one of the most influential people in formulating global policy on sexual and reproductive health and rights in the Sustainable Development Goals era.  

Oluwatoyin Chukwudozie

Team Leader for Advocacy and Policy Influencing, Education as a Vaccine, Nigeria


Toyin Chukwudozie is a young woman who is passionate about amplifying the voices of young people in her community, especially other young women and girls. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and a MSc (in view) in environmental biology from the University of Abuja, Nigeria. As a Life Skills Trainer at Women for Women International Nigeria she reached a cohort of 800 rural young women, empowering them with training on life skills and human rights. She joined Education as a Vaccine (EVA) as an SRHR counsellor, providing SRHR counselling and information for adolescents and young people. She managed a project on violence against women and girls (VAWG) documenting cases of VAWG in two states, and working with stakeholders to strengthen the states’ response system. As Team Leader for Strategy, Development and Learning, she coordinated the development and implementation of EVA’s current strategic plan and M&E plan, and led the communications and fundraising teams. She is currently Team Leader for Advocacy and Policy Influencing, coordinating the development and implementation of quality advocacy and policy-influencing programmes and activities, in line with EVA’s strategy to uphold the rights of adolescents and young people, especially adolescent girls and young women.

Rosamund Lewis

Head, Smallpox Secretariat, World Health Organization


Dr Rosamund Lewis is leading on the health sciences stream of the Infodemic Management group in WHO’s COVID-19 response. Her day job in the Emergencies Programme is to head the WHO Smallpox Secretariat, leading on orthopoxviruses and biosecurity for the agency. A public health physician with an early career in family and emergency medicine, Rosamund has served WHO, the Government of Canada and other agencies at global, national and municipal levels in emergency preparedness, surveillance and response, immunization, and a range of disease control programmes. Other roles focused on field epidemiology in emergency settings (MSF/ Epicentre) and new vaccines and health systems (GAVI/CIDA). Along with a BSc and a medical degree from McGill University, Rosamund holds master’s degrees in science in epidemiology and biostatistics, and in management, and fellowships in family medicine and in public health and preventive medicine. She has published extensively in her areas of work.

 Siddharth Chatterjee 

UN Resident Coordinator, Kenya


Siddharth Chatterjee is the United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator for Kenya. He champions gender equality and sexual and reproductive health and rights, and is outspoken on the prevention of sexual and gender-based violence.

He has spent most of his career in the UN working in fragile states and complex emergencies, serving in various capacities with the UN Mission in Iraq, UNICEF offices in Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan (Darfur), Indonesia and the UN Peacekeeping Operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Iraqi Kurdistan. He has also worked for UNDP, UNFPA, the Red Cross movement, UNOPS and UN Security.

A TEDx speaker, Siddharth writes extensively on humanitarian and development issues in a variety of journals such as Newsweek, the Hill, the Los Angeles Times, CNN, Al Jazeera, Forbes, CNBC Africa, the Guardian, the Huffington Post, Reuters, the Global Observatory and mainstream Kenyan and Indian journals.

His early career was in a Special Forces Unit of the Indian Army.

He holds a master’s degree in public policy from the Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, USA.

Sophie Harman

Professor of International Politics at Queen Mary University of London


Sophie Harman is Professor of International Politics at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) where she teaches and conducts research into global health politics, African agency in international relations and visual politics. She has published seven books and numerous articles on these topics, most notably Global Health Governance and The World Bank and HIV/AIDS. Her most recent book, Seeing Politics: film, visual method and international relations, was published in 2019. She has mentored early career academics both within and outside QMUL, worked as a consultant for the World Health Organization (WHO), and played a pivotal role in establishing working groups and networks on global health and Africa within the field of international relations. From 2015 to 2019 she co-edited British International Studies Association’s flagship journal, Review of International Studies, and has served on several editorial boards. Her work has been published in The Guardian, The Independent and The Huffington Post, and she is one of the BBC’s “Expert Women”. In 2016, she co-wrote and produced her first narrative feature film, Pili, which was BAFTA-nominated for outstanding debut for a British writer, producer or director in 2019. In recognition of her research in and contribution to the field of international politics, Sophie was awarded the Political Studies Association’s Joni Lovenduski Prize for outstanding achievement by a mid-career scholar and the Philip Leverhulme Prize in 2018. She is currently using her Leverhulme prize to focus on a new project on women and global health.

Susan Wakarura Kihika

Senator for Nakuru County, Kenya


Susan Wakarura Kihika, is a Kenyan lawyer and politician, who is the current Senator for Nakuru County. She was elected to that position in 2017. Prior to that, she served as the first female speaker of Nakuru County Assembly. Susan Kihika is also the President of the IPU Bureau of Women Parliamentarians.

Prior to her work in parliament, Susan practiced law in the United States of America.  Following her graduation from the Law School of Southern Methodist University, in Dallas, Texas, Susan  worked in the public service. Later she left public service and established The Kihika Law Firm in Dallas, Texas. In 2012, after 20 consecutive years in the United States, Susan left and returned to her native Kenya

Tapiwa Mukwashi

Senior Manager, Supply Chain, Village Reach


Tapiwa is Senior Manager in VillageReach’s supply chain. With a master’s degree in science in shipping and transport from Netherlands Maritime University, he has over 15 years’ experience in public and private sector supply chains. Prior to joining VillageReach, he was Head of Country Operations for the SADC Malaria Elimination8 Initiative, involving eight southern African countries who are pushing the boundaries of what many considered impossible: the elimination of malaria. He also served as Senior Logistics Advisor in the USAID DELIVER project in Liberia.

Working in the global health sector enables Tapiwa to contribute, by supporting transformative and incremental supply chain improvement programmes, to making the world a little healthier, a little safer, and a little better for people in underserved communities. As a member of VillageReach’s supply chain community of practice, he participates in developing its processes, operational standards and tools.

He chose to work with VillageReach because it has demonstrated a commitment to making the results of its work public, enabling others to learn from both its successes and its failures. Its mission to save lives and improve health by increasing access to quality health care resonates with his core values.

V Chandra-Mouli

Scientist, Adolescent Sexual & Reproductive Health, Department of Reproductive Health and Research, WHO


Dr Venkatraman Chandra-Mouli leads the work on adolescent, sexual and reproductive health (ASRH) in the World Health Organization’s Department of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research.

His work includes building the evidence base on ASRH and supporting countries to translate this evidence into action through well-conceived and well-managed policies and programmes. His experience in generating knowledge and taking knowledge to action is global in scope and spans more than 30 years.

Dr Chandra-Mouli joined WHO in early 1993 and worked on HIV prevention in WHO’s Global Programme on AIDS until the end of 1995. After a short stint in UNAIDS, he moved back to WHO in 1996. Since then, his work has focused on adolescent health. Before joining WHO, he worked in Zambia, India and Zimbabwe for 12 years – providing primary care services (with a private Zambian company), preventing childhood malnutrition (with Kitwe Nutrition Group, a Zambian NGO), preventing HIV and responding to people with HIV (with another Zambian NGO, Copperbelt Health Education Project), setting up a regional training and mentoring initiative, “School Without Walls” (with the Canadian Public Health Association) and funding HIV/AIDS related work, “NGO AIDS Cell” (with the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation).

Walter Flores

Director, Center for the Study of Equity and Governance in Health Systems, Guatemala


Dr Walter Flores is a social scientist and advocate with over 25 years of professional experience. He holds a PhD and a master’s degree in community health from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, UK. Dr Flores’ professional work has been carried out in more than 30 countries in Latin America, Africa, Asia and Europe. His areas of expertise are: health policy analysis, health systems, health equity, the right to health, democratic governance of public policies, and community participation in public policies. Dr Flores is the founder and principal advisor of Centro de Estudios para la Equidad y Gobernanza en Sistemas de Salud (Centre for the Study of Equity and Governance in Health Systems), a civil society organization in Guatemala specialized in research, capacity building and advocacy around issues affecting indigenous and other marginalized populations ( Dr Flores is also a steering committee member of the Community of Practitioners on Accountability and Social Action in Health, which is a network of civil society organizations from Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America working towards improving health-care services for marginalized populations through human rights, accountability and social mobilization.