Speakers

  • Alessandro Demaio

    World Health Organization

    Switzerland

    Dr Demaio trained as a medical doctor at The Alfred Hospital in Australia. While practising, he completed a Masters in Public Health including diabetes fieldwork in Cambodia. In 2010, Alessandro relocated to Denmark to complete a PhD with the University of Copenhagen, focusing on noncommunicable diseases in Mongolia. Alessandro held a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School from 2013 to 2015, and was Assistant Professor and Course Director in Global Health at the Copenhagen School of Global Health. He established and leads the PLOS blog Translational Global Health, is a regular blogger for Huffington Post and The Conversation, and served on the Advisory Board of the EAT Initiative. Dr Demaio co-founded the millennial, global social movement NCDFREE in 2013. Then in 2015, he founded festival21 - a massive, public celebration of our greatest collective challenges. Since November 2015, Alessandro has been a Medical Officer with the Department of Nutrition for Health and Development at the World Health Organization in Geneva. He loves food and lives for positive social impact.


  • Luis Eugenio de Souza

    Federal University of Bahia, Salvador

    Brazil

    Luis Eugenio Portela Fernandes de Souza graduated in Medicine at the Federal University of Bahia (1987), has a Master in Community Health at the Federal University of Bahia (1996) and also a Ph.D. in Public Health from the Université de Montréal (2002). He is currently assistant professor at the Federal University of Bahia. He has experience in Public Health with emphasis in Health Administration, acting on the following topics: health services and public health, hospitals, use of scientific knowledge. From January 2005 to June 2007, he held the position of municipal secretary of health in Salvador. From December 2008 to July 2009, he held the position of director of the Department of Science and Technology (Ministry of Health). From November 2012 to August 2012, he was president of Abrasco (Brazilian Association of Collective Health). Currently, he is Coordinator of the Program of Economics, Technology and Innovation and coordinator of the Graduate Program in Collective Health, both at the Federal University of Bahia.


  • Michelle Deshong

    James Cook University, Townsville

    Australia

    Michelle Deshong lives in Townsville, North Queensland and draws her connection to the Kuku Yulanji nation. She has completed a BA with First Class Honours in Political Science and Indigenous studies and is working on her PhD at James Cook University. Michelle has worked in both the Government and NGO sectors, and has held many senior leadership roles. From 2001-2010 Michelle was the Director of the Australian Indigenous Leadership Centre and in 2001 she was awarded ACT Aboriginal Person of the year. She currently holds a number of directorship roles in the Not for Profit sector. In 2013 Michelle was named in the Australian Financial Review/Westpac 100 Women of Influence Awards. View more

    Michelle has extensive experience in areas of leadership, governance and politics. She has a strong commitment to human rights and has also been an NGO representative on many occasions at the United Nations forums on the Commission on the Status of Women and Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. She has a strong background in gender equality and works to ensure that the voices of Indigenous women are represented at all levels. Michelle is currently undertaking research in the USA and Canada as part of her Fulbright scholarship to develop strategies for Nation building and gender equality. She was also named as the 2015 National NAIDOC Scholar of the Year.


  • Peter Doherty

    University of Melbourne

    Australia

    Peter Doherty shared the 1996 Nobel Medicine Prize for discovering the nature of the cellular immune defense. Based at the University of Melbourne and also spending part of his year at St Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, he continues to be involved in research directed at understanding and preventing the severe consequences of influenza virus infection. In addition, he goes in to bat for evidence-based reality, relating to areas as diverse as childhood vaccination, global hunger and anthropogenic climate change. In an effort to communicate more broadly, he has published 5 “lay” books.


  • Alex Ezeh

    African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC)

    Kenya

    Alex Ezeh is the Executive Director of the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC). Dr Ezeh has guided APHRC to become one of Africa’s foremost regional research centers addressing population, health and education issues. He also directs the Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa (CARTA), an initiative to strengthen the training and retention of academics at African universities. He was a member of the RF-Lancet Commission on Planetary Health and currently serves on the Lancet Commission on the Future of Health in Africa and co-chairs the Guttmacher-Lancet Commission on Sexual and Reproductive Health in post-2015 world. He is an honorary professor of public health at Wits University, South Africa and holds a doctorate in demography.


  • Sharon Friel

    Australian National University, Canberra

    Australia

    Sharon Friel is Professor of Health Equity and Director of the School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet), Australian National University. She is also Director of the Menzies Centre for Health Policy ANU. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences Australia, an ANU Public Policy Fellow and an Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) Policy Advisor. She is Co-Director of the NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in the Social Determinants of Health Equity. She held an inaugural Australian Research Council Future Fellowship to investigate the interface between health equity, food systems and climate change, based at the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, ANU. Between 2005 and 2008 she was the Head of the Scientific Secretariat (University College London) of the World Health Organisation Commission on Social Determinants of Health. Her current interests are in the political economy of health; policy, governance and regulation in relation to the social determinants of health inequities, including trade and investment, food systems, and climate change.


  • Prabhat Jha

    Centre for Global Health Research, Toronto

    Canada

    Professor Prabhat Jha has been a key figure in epidemiology and economics of global health for the past decade. He is the University of Toronto Endowed Professor in Disease Control and Canada Research Chair at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, and the founding Director of the Centre for Global Health Research at St. Michael's Hospital. Professor Jha is a lead investigator of the Million Death Study in India, which quantifies the causes of premature mortality in over 2 million homes from 1997‐2014. He is co‐investigator of the Disease Control Priorities Network and the author of several influential books on tobacco control, including two that helped enable a global treaty on tobacco control, now signed by over 180 countries. He has published widely on tobacco and disease control. View more

    Earlier, Professor Jha served as Senior Scientist for the World Health Organization, where he co‐led the work on health and poverty for the Commission on Macroeconomics and Health. Previous to this, he headed the World Bank team responsible for developing the Second National HIV/AIDS Control Program in India. Notable recognitions include an Officer of the Order of Canada (2012) for services to global health and epidemiology, Luther Terry Award for Research on Tobacco Control (2012), The Globe and Mail 25 Transformational Canadians (2010), Top 40 Canadians under Age 40 Award (2004) and the Ontario Premier’s Research Excellence Award (2004). Professor Jha holds an M.D. from the University of Manitoba and a D.Phil. from Oxford University, where he studied as a Canadian Rhodes Scholar.


  • Ilona Kickbusch

    The Graduate Institute Geneva

    Switzerland

    Ilona Kickbusch is the Director of the Global Health Centre and Associate Professor at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. She has been deeply involved in the development of the Health 2020 European health policy framework. She was a member of the independent Ebola interim assessment panel of the WHO. She has recently been awarded the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (Bundesverdienstkreuz) in recognition of her invaluable contributions to innovation in governance for global health and global health diplomacy. She is a senior advisor to the Regional Directors of the WHO Regional Offices for Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean and has advised many countries on their global health strategies. View more.

    In Switzerland she serves on the executive board of the Careum Foundation and on the expert panel advising the Federal Councillor responsible for health. She has contributed to innovation in health in many ways throughout her career and has a strong commitment to the empowerment of women. She has worked with the WHO at various levels and in academia as professor at Yale University. She has published widely and has received many prizes for her work.

    Her key areas of work relate to Global Health Governance, Health Security, Public Health, Health Promotion, Health Literacy and Health in All Policies. Details and updates can be found on her Website: www.ilonakickbusch.com and on wikipedia. You can also follow her on twitter @IlonaKickbusch


  • Bronwyn King

    Tobacco Free Portfolios

    Australia

    Bronwyn started her medical career working on the lung cancer unit at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne. The devastating impact of tobacco on her patients left a deep impression. Years later, after becoming a specialist Radiation Oncologist, Bronwyn discovered her unwitting investment in tobacco companies through her superannuation fund and she felt obliged to try to bridge the gap between the health and finance sectors. In 2010, whilst continuing to practice as a radiation oncologist, Bronwyn began discussing tobacco-free investment with the finance industry. She has since founded Tobacco Free Portfolios, which has contributed to over 30 Australian Super Funds divesting tobacco stocks worth over $1.5 billion dollars. With several billion of Australian’s savings remaining invested in tobacco, Bronwyn is committed to continuing her work. View more

    Inspired by the Australian momentum, in March 2015 the Union for International Cancer Control established the Global Task Force for Tobacco Free Portfolios, to encourage tobacco-free investment across the globe. Bronwyn holds the position of Project Manager of this important initiative.

    A former elite swimmer who represented Australia and for ten years worked as Team Doctor for the Australian Swimming Team, Bronwyn is also actively involved in a range of community initiatives. She is the Tobacco Control Ambassador for Cancer Council Australia, an Australia Day Ambassador, and an Ambassador for Big Brothers Big Sisters Australia. Bronwyn is a fellow of Leadership Victoria’s Williamson Community Leadership Program and in 2014 she was listed as one of the Westpac/Australian Financial Review 100 Women on Influence. In 2015 Bronwyn was Awarded the VicHealth Award for Preventing Tobacco Use.

    Bronwyn is married to another radiation oncologist, Dr Mark Shaw, and together they have two young boys.


  • Rüdiger Krech

    World Health Organization

    Switzerland

    Dr Rüdiger Krech is the Director for Health Systems and Innovation at the World Health Organization. The cluster of Health Systems and Innovation (HIS) covers WHO’s work in the areas of safe and effective medicines and health technologies, integrated people-centered health services, health workforce, financing and health governance, evidence, information and research. The network covers about 1.100 staff with a budget of app. 540 Million USD. As his function is positioned in the Assistant Director-General’s Office, he acts on behalf of, and represents her in meetings, committees and other events and facilitates coordination and coherence between the health systems work of the Organization and other areas of public health. He is the cluster’s focal point for the WHO reform, in particular on issues relating to WHO leadership priorities, governance and management. View more

    Before that, Dr Krech was the Director of the Department of Ethics, Equity, Trade and Human Rights at the World Health Organization from 2009 to 2012. In this capacity, he was also responsible for WHO’s work on Social Determinants of Health and Health in All Policies. Before joining WHO, he was in charge of German International Cooperation’s (GiZ) work on social protection from 2003-2009 both in its Headquarters in Eschborn near Frankfurt and in India. He has also held various management positions at the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Europe in Copenhagen in the fields of health systems, health policies, health promotion and ageing between 1992-2003. Dr Krech has studied educational sciences, medicine and public health and holds a doctoral degree in public health.


  • Peter Miller

    Deakin University, Melbourne

    Australia

    Peter Miller is a Professor of Violence Prevention and Addiction Studies at the School of Psychology, Deakin University. His research interests include: Alcohol-related violence in licensed venues; predictors of violence, and; the behaviour of vested interests such as the global alcohol industry in preventing the implementation of effective public health policy. Peter has recently completed three of the largest studies ever conducted into licensed venues, comparing 11 Australian cities (and Wellington, NZ) over 5 years and talking to more than 15,000 patrons. He has published over 150 journal articles, books and peer-reviewed reports. View more

    Peter’s current projects include: an Australia Research Council Linkage grant to investigate the role of vested interests such as the tobacco, alcohol and gambling in preventing effective health policy; Drug and Alcohol intoxication and Subsequent Harm in night-time Entertainment Districts (DASHED), examining the relationship between alcohol consumption, intoxication, substance use, crime and other risky behaviour in and around licensed premises in Canberra and Hobart; and Alcohol and Drug Involvement in family and Domestic Violence in Australia (ADIVA), focusing on alcohol and other drug (AOD)- related violence. He is also working with eight Emergency Departments across Australia on systematic screening of alcohol-related harm including a public health intervention identifying the sources of alcohol which drive emergency department attendances.


  • Maria Neira

    Department of Public Health and Environment, World Health Organization

    Switzerland

    Dr Maria P. Neira was appointed Director of the Department of Public Health and Environment at the World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland in September 2005. Prior to that, she was Vice-Minister of Health and President of the Spanish Food Safety Agency in the Spanish Ministry of Health, responsible for policy development and implementation of Food and Nutrition National Plans from 2002-2005. She had previously held senior positions in WHO as Director of the Control, Prevention and Eradication Programme on Communicable Diseases and as Coordinator of the Global Task Force on Cholera Control. Dr Neira began her career as a field physician and medical coordinator for Médicins Sans Frontières, working with refugees in the Salvador and Honduras border area. She later worked as as a public health adviser for the Ministry of Health, Mozambique and as a UN Public Health physician in Rwanda. A medical doctor by training, Dr Neira started her professional career in 1983 with three years in endocrinology and nutrition at the Hôpital Saint Louis in Paris.View more

    Dr Neira is a Spanish national, and holds a degree in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Oviedo, Spain, and a Masters degree in Public Health from the Université Pierre et Marie Curie, in Paris, France. She specialized in Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases at the Université René Déscartes, then in Nutrition at the Conservatoire National d'Arts et Métiers, both in Paris. She also obtained an International Diploma in Emergency Preparedness and Crisis Management from the University of Geneva, Switzerland.

    Among her distinctions, Dr Neira has been awarded the Médaille de l'Ordre national du Mérité by the Government of France and is a member of the Academy of Medicine, Asturias, Spain.


  • Colin Tukuitonga

    Secretariat of the Pacific Community

    Pacific Islands

    Dr Tukuitonga was appointed Director-General of SPC in November 2013. He has held several leadership positions across the Pacific and globally, including: Associate Professor of Pacific and International Health, University of Auckland; Head of Surveillance and Prevention of Chronic NCDs, World Health Organisation, Former Chief Executive of the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs, Government of New Zealand. Dr Tukuitonga is the Founding Member of the Niue Arts and Culture Festival, Pacific Language Weeks (celebrating five Pacific languages) in New Zealand, Leadership Development Programme for Pacific civil servants in New Zealand.


  • Weizhong Yang

    Chinese Preventive Medicine Association

    China

    Weizhong-Yang, Professor, Executive Vice President and Secretary General of Chinese Preventive Medicine Association, former Deputy General Director of China CDC , Director of WFPHA Asia-Pacific Regional Liaison Office sitting on the GC position,CAST UN Consultative Committee on Life Science & Human Health(CCLH) Member. Dr. Yang has been working on public health areas for more than 3 decades, with a high reputation and visibility in the field of health emergency, preparedness and response, public health management, infectious diseases prevention and control especially in the infectious disease surveillance and auto-early warning and etc. As the important technique principal, participated in the response and control of SARS, streptococcus suis infection among human and human infected with highly pathogenic avian influenza in China. View more

    As the 1st responsible leader, coordinating and taking a lead to a successfully apply and implement dozens of national and international projects including SINO-US EID Programme, Early Warning Systems Development and Forecasting Stimulation Technology for Infectious Diseases, Epidemic Situation about Three Gorges Reservoir Area in China, and etc. Since 2001, he has published more than 60 papers in international and national core academic journals such as New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, Vaccine, Public Health, PLoS One, Emerging Infectious Disease, etc. He has supervised more than 20 students at MSc and PhD levels.


  • Young-Soo Shin

    World Health Organization Regional Office for the Western Pacific

    Philippines

    Dr Young-Soo Shin took up the position of the World Health Organization's Regional Director for the Western Pacific on 1 February 2009. He was nominated for the position at the fifty-ninth session of the WHO Regional Committee for the Western Pacific in September 2008 and confirmed by the Organization's 124th session of the Executive Board in Geneva in January 2009. He was nominated for a second five-year term at the sixty-fourth session of the WHO Regional Committee for the Western Pacific in October 2013 and confirmed by the Organization’s 134th session of the Executive Board in Geneva in January 2014. Dr Shin was the first Regional Director for the Western Pacific to be appointed from outside WHO. View more

    Dr Shin has longstanding connections with WHO, having undertaken more than 30 assignments with the Organization as an adviser and consultant, and having on a number of occasions served on its Executive Board as the representative of the Republic of Korea.

    Until joining WHO, Dr Shin was Professor of Health Policy and Management at the College of Medicine, Seoul National University, where he graduated magna cum laude in 1969.