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WCPH Plenary speakers


Walter Ricciardi

Co-chair of the 16th World Congress on Public Health

Walter Ricciardi is Professor of Hygiene and Public Health at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Rome, Italy, and President of the World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA). He is Past-President of the European Public Health Association (EUPHA). He manages undergraduate and postgraduate teaching activities including a Master of Science programme and International Courses in Epidemiology. Since 2013 he serves as Member of the EU Expert Panel on Effective Ways of Investing in Health. From 2011 to 2014 he was Member of National Board of Medical Examiners of the United States of America. In 2015, he was appointed Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Health Policy, Governance and Leadership at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart. He is Editor of several leading journals: the European Journal of Public Health, the Oxford Handbook of Public Health Practice and Founding Editor of the Italian Journal of Public Health and of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Public Health.


Carlo Signorelli

Co-chair of the 16th World Congress on Public Health

Carlo Signorelli is Professor of hygiene and public health at the Universities of Parma and Vita-Salute San Raffaele, Milan, Italy, where he is also Director of the Post-Graduate School in Hygiene and Preventive Medicine. He first qualified in medicine and surgery in 1986, before undertaking degrees in law and political sciences. He went on to a post-graduate specialization in hygiene and preventive medicine. Across his academic career, he has also taken a MSc in epidemiology and a PhD from the LSHTM, United Kingdom. He is the immediate Past-President of Italia Society of Public Health (SItI). He is Treasurer of EUPHA and a member of the Executive Board of ASPHER. His current research work is mainly in the field of public health, epidemiology, environmental health, health organisation and vaccination policies. He has been a member of the Hygiene Council since 2006 and a member of the International Forum on Home Hygiene since 2009. He was also a consultant to the Italian Senate and member of the Italian National Commission for Vaccination.


Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

Director-General of the World Health Organization

Opening ceremony by video

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was elected as WHO Director-General for a five-year term by WHO Member States in May 2017. 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. Under his leadership Ethiopia invested in critical health infrastructure, expanded its health workforce, and developed innovative health financing mechanisms. Born in the city of Asmara, Eritrea, Dr Tedros holds a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Community Health from the University of Nottingham and a Master of Science (MSc) in Immunology of Infectious Diseases from the University of London.


Natasha Azzopardi Muscat

Director for Country Health Policies and Systems, WHO Regional Office for Europe 

Natasha Azzopardi Muscat (MD, PhD, FFPH, DLSHTM) is the Director for Country Health Policies and Systems at the WHO Regional Office for Europe and Immediate Past President of the European Public Health Association (EUPHA). She is a medical doctor and specialised in public health medicine. She holds a PhD in health policy. She previously occupied various senior positions at the Ministry of Health in Malta, including that of Chief Medical Officer. She is a founding member and former President of the Malta Association of Public Health Medicine. She is also a Resident Academic at the University of Malta where her main area of research has been European Union health policy with a particular interest in small state health systems. 


Philip Baba Adongo

Department of Social and Behavioural Science, School of Public Health, Ghana

Philip B. Adongo is a Professor of Health Behaviour in the Department of Social and Behavioural Science, School of Public Health, University of Ghana. He is President of the Association of Schools of Public Health in Africa (ASPHA), Vice President of World Federation of Academic Institutions in Global Health (WFAIGH) and a foundation member of the Global Network for Academics in Public Health. He holds an Adjunct appointments at the Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University. Prior to joining the University of Ghana, he worked as Principal Research Fellow at the Navrongo Health Research Centre. He designed and implemented the social and behavioral component of the Navrongo Community Health Project (CHFP). The CHFP provided the health service delivery model for rural communities in Ghana, achieving its Millennium Development Goal (MDG) in seven years. The impact of the CHFP led to its adoption as a cornerstone of Ghana’s national primary health policy. His current research centers on transferring the CHFP concept to urban Ghana. His research work spans the domains of health system research, communicable and non-communicable disease research, maternal, child and reproductive health, health education and communication.


Maurício Barreto 

Federal University of Bahia, Brazil

Mauricio Barreto is Emeritus Professor at the Federal University of Bahia and a Senior Investigator at the FIOCRUZ, Brazil. His research in epidemiology and collective health covers an extensive range of different topics, but always exploring background questions around social and environmental determinants of health, health inequalities, the impact of social and health interventions on health and inequalities, integration of social and biological knowledge for causal explanations in health and the use of scientific knowledge to policy-making. He has published over 500 peer-reviewed scientific papers. In 2016, he founded the Center for Data and Knowledge Integration for Health (CIDACS), as part of FIOCRUZ in Salvador-Bahia, Brazil. His current major project is the 100 million Brazilian Cohort, focused on investigating the role of social protection policies on the health of the poor, throughout the integration of large Brazilian databases and using quasi-experimental approaches to ‘big-data’. He has been a commissioner of the Lancet Commission on Migration and Health.  He was Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health (2008-11). He is elected fellow of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences (ABC) and of the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), and Honorary Professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. In 2010, he received the Commendation of the National Order of Medical Merit, granted by the President of Brazil.


Jan Beagle

Director-General International Development Law Organization (IDLO)

Jan Beagle is the Director-General of the International Development Law Organization (IDLO), the only global intergovernmental organisation exclusively dedicated to the rule of law. She started her career as a diplomat in New Zealand and has some forty years of experience of multilateral diplomacy having served as Special Adviser to the United Nations Secretary-General on Systemwide Implementation of Chief Executives Board (CEB) decisions; United Nations Under-SecretaryGeneral for Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance; Deputy Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS); Deputy Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva; and Assistant Secretary-General for Human Resources Management. She has held senior positions in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General, the Office of the Administrator of UNDP, and the Department of Political and Security Council Affairs. Ms. Beagle has also played a leadership role in the interagency bodies of the UN system. 

George Benjamin

Co-chair of the 16th World Congress on Public Health

Georges C. Benjamin, MD, is a well-known health policy leader, practitioner and administrator. He currently serves as the Executive Director of the American Public Health Association (APHA), the nation's oldest and largest organization of public health professionals. He is also a former secretary of health for the state of Maryland, United States. He is a graduate of the Illinois Institute of Technology and the University of Illinois College Of Medicine. He is board-certified in internal medicine, a Master of the American College of Physicians, a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, a fellow emeritus of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member of the National Academy of Medicine. He serves on several nonprofit boards such as Research!America, the Truth Foundation and, the Reagan-Udall Foundation. He is also a member of the National Infrastructure Advisory Council, a council that advises the President of the United States on how best to assure the security of the nation’s critical infrastructure.


Barbara Maria Bürkin

Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Switzerland

Working at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute in Switzerland, Barbara Maria Bürkin coordinates the institute’s MBA in International Health Management programme. She holds a university degree in Public Health and Health Education (MScPH, BA) and is currently doing a PhD with a research focus on transformational leadership and public health workforce development in low- and middle- income countries. She is a certified member of the German Systemic Society as systemic counsellor and has over ten years’ experience in developing and implementing health education programmes. She previously worked at the Robert Koch Institute, Germany. There she was involved in the German Partnership Programme for Excellence in Biological and Health Security. Apart from her profound international experience in developing and implementing health education programmes, she gained practical knowledge in lecturing for students, leading a European project with the private sector, evaluating public health interventions, lobbying and advocacy. Until recently, she was responsible to build up a regional alliance regarding the provision of optimal healthcare for adolescent and young refugees in Germany.


Stefan Buttigieg

University of Malta, Malta

Stefan Buttigieg is a specialist in public health medicine with an avid interest in clinical informatics, social media and digital health. He currently lectures at the University of Malta, Faculty of Health Sciences, on the topics of Digital Health and Social Media in Healthcare. He is also an author, tutor and digital health consultant focused on creating transformative and effective change. Within the World Federation of Public Health Association (WFPHA) Governing Council, he represents the voices of students and young professionals in public health and he is also the Vice-President of the EUPHA Section Digital health. He is consistently focused on expanding his knowledge within the field of public health, social media, digital health and project management with the main aim of empowering healthcare professionals to design, develop and distribute user-centric applications for healthcare. The determination to establish contacts with people from all walks of life energises him to get the best out of people and help them achieve their goals and vision through the use of information and technology.


Bettina Borisch 

Executive Director World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA) 

Bettina Borisch is a professor of Public Health at the Institute of Global Health, Medical Faculty, University of Geneva, Switzerland. A medical doctor by training she first specialized in clinical pathology and was the director of the Institute of Clinical Pathology, University of Geneva, before orienting her work to public health. Her research interests include gender health, health systems, universal health coverage and global public health. She has a long experience in collaborating with international organizations, both at UN level as well as at European level. She studied medicine and modern history at the Universities of Kiel and Lausanne. Her academic life brought her to Würzburg, Paris, Philadelphia, Bern and Geneva. She obtained the title of Privatdozent from the University of Berne, Switzerland. She has published her scientific work extensively and is editor of ‘Pathobiology’ and co-editor of ‘Journal of Public Health Policies’. She is a global citizen with both Swiss and German citizenships. Passionate about her fields of experience, she also teaches patients and the broader public, on topics of health and disease, gender and the global health situation.


Sara Cerdas

Member European Parliament (Soc.Dem.), Portugal

Sara Cerdas is a Portuguese medical doctor and since July of 2019 a Member of European Parliament. She is member of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and of the Committee on Transport and Tourism in the European Parliament. She is co-chair of the Health Working Group, which brings to discussion European health issues with the different stakeholders and experts. She holds a master's degree in Medicine from the University of Lisbon, a postgraduate degree in traveler's medicine from Universidade Nova de Lisboa, a master's degree in Public Health from the Umeå University and is a doctoral student in Public Health Sciences at the University of Stockholm. Having worked for almost a decade in global health, she worked in public health institutions at the local and national level in Portugal. She has worked with in the Public Health Emergency Centre of the Portuguese Directorate-General of Health, having had an active participation in tackling regional and national outbreaks. Sara Cerdas has held representative positions in the health field, such as a representative of the Public Health Residents in the Lisbon and Tagus Valley Region, in the International Federation of Medical Students 'Associations and at the Portuguese Medical Students' Association.


James B. Chauvin

Public health advocate and consultant, Canada

James Chauvin is a public health advocate and consultant. Over his 40-plus-year professional career, he worked with public health practitioners and researchers in Canada and in over 40 countries. He retired in June 2013 after 21 years of employment with the Canadian Public Health Association where he served as its first Director of Policy (2008-2013). Before that, he developed and managed several of CPHA’s multi-country global health programmes, becoming Director of CPHA’s Global Health Programs in 2005. He was elected President of the World Federation of Public Health Associations in May 2012, for a 2-year term. He sits on several boards and commissions, including the Board of the Québec Public Health Association and the Ethics Board of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. He was elected in June 2014 as an Honorary Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health/Royal Colleges of Physicians (UK) and received in June 2015 a Certificate of Merit from CPHA in recognition of his contribution to public health in Canada and globally.


Caroline Costongs

Director EuroHealthNet 

Caroline Costongs is Director of EuroHealthNet, a European Partnership for improving health, equity and wellbeing, based in Brussels. Caroline has an MSc in Public Health from the University of Maastricht (The Netherlands) and her main work focuses on policy, advocacy, research and capacity building in the field of health inequalities, health promotion across the life course, sustainable development and “Health in all Policies”. She is a member of the International Conference Council for the European Public Health Conference. Caroline has also worked at the Netherlands Olympic Committee and Sports Confederation (NOC*NSF) on physical activity promotion for young people.  Before that, she was active at the Health Institute of the Liverpool John Moores University where she did research on healthy public policies in cities and at the National Capacity Building Institute (INICE) of the Honduras Ministry of Education.


Kasia Czabanowska

Past-President Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region (ASPHER)

Katarzyna Czabanowska is Past-President of the Association of the Schools of Public Health in European Region (ASPHER) and associate professor at the International Health Department, Maastricht University, the Netherlands. She directs the Governance and Leadership in European Public Health programme. Her research focus is on public health workforce development and professionalization, public health leadership, women leadership in health care and competence-based education in public health. She holds honorary positions at Jagiellonian University Medical College, Krakow, Poland, the University of Sheffield, United Kingdom and the IU Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health, Indiana, United States. In 2015 she won the Polish Person 2015 in the Netherlands Award in the category Science and Technique.


Roopa Dhat

Executive Director Women in Global Health

Roopa Dhatt is a passionate advocate for gender equality in global health and a leading voice in the movement to correct the gender imbalance in global health leadership. She is also a practicing Internal Medicine physician at Georgetown University MedStar Hospital in Washington DC, United States. Roopa Dhatt is particularly committed to addressing issues of power, privilege, and intersectionality that keep many women from global health leadership roles and to opening up spaces for the voices of these women to be heard. Determined to build a movement to transform women’s leadership opportunities in health, she co-founded Women in Global Health (WGH) in 2015. Today, WGH has more than 25,000 supporters in more than 90 countries and continues to grow. WGH works through chapters in every region to challenge power and privilege for gender equity in health by mobilizing a diverse group of emerging women health leaders, by advocating to existing global health leaders to commit to transform their own institutions, and by holding these leaders to account.  With more than 15 chapters in all regions, WGH is changing the conversation about women’s leadership in health at global, national and local levels. 


Desmond D'Sa

South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA), South Africa 

Desmond D’Sa is an environmental and human rights activist in Durban, South Africa. For over 25 years he has been a watchdog snapping at the heels of errant companies, particularly major oil refineries, who have polluted their way through decades of industrial expansion in south Durban. As the coordinator for SDCEA- South Durban Community Environmental Alliance he addresses issues concerned with human rights and environmental injustices. His work extends far beyond pollution and harmful toxins contributing to the ill health of communities. Desmond also sits on a number of activist boards and church organizations. He is also a member of the CBCO- Community Building Credible Organizations. His compassion and energy in uniting and galvanizing people in marginalized communities to stand up for their rights led to him receiving the Diakonia Human Rights Award in 2013,the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize Award in 2014 and an honorary doctorate from the Durban University of Technology, Health Sciences Department in 2015.


Josep Figueras

Director European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies

Josep Figueras is the Director of the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies and head of the WHO European Centre on Health Policy in Brussels. In addition to WHO, he has served other major multilateral organisations such as the European Commission and the World Bank. He is a member of several advisory and editorial boards and has served as advisor in more than forty countries within the European region and beyond. He is honorary fellow of the UK Faculty of Public Health, has twice been awarded the EHMA prize, and in 2006 received the Andrija Stampar Medal. He was head of the MSc programme in Health Services Management at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and he is currently visiting professor at Imperial College, London. His research focuses on comparative health system and policy analysis. 


Summer May Finlay

Campaigner of the rights of indigenous people, Australia 

Summer May Finlay (CSCA, TAE, BSocSC and MPHA) is a Yorta Yorta woman who is passionate about social justice particularly for Indigenous people in Australia and globally. She has extensive experience in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander public health research, policy and communications. and is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with Canberra University. She has passed her PhD awaiting conferral by the University of South Australia. She is also a lecturer at the University of Wollongong and is as a contributing editor for Croakey Health Media. She has previously worked in a variety of capacities with a variety of organisations across the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Sector, not-for-profit, university and for-profit sectors. She currently holds several leadership roles including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Vice President for the Public Health Association of Australia, Co-Chair Indigenous NCDs and is the Co-Vice Chair of the World Federation of Public Health Associations Indigenous Working Group. She is also an Editor for the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health and a member of the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council of New South Wales Ethics Committee.


Walter Flores 

Human rights advocate, Guatemala

Walter Flores is a social scientist and human rights advocate with over twenty-five years of professional experience. He holds a PhD and a Masters of Community Health from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom. Dr. Flores’ professional work has been carried-out in more than thirty countries from Latin America, Africa, Asia and Europe. His areas of expertise are health systems and policy, right to health and indigenous populations, democratic governance, social accountability, legal empowerment and community participation. Currently, he is the executive director of the Center for the Study of Equity and Governance in Health Systems; a Guatemalan civil society organization specialized in applied research, capacity building and advocacy around issues affecting indigenous and other marginalized populations.


Katie Gallagher

Senior Policy Adviser, European Patients’ Forum

As Senior Policy Adviser at The European Patients’ Forum (EPF), Katie’s role is to shape and contribute to the development of EPF’s policy and advocacy work in line with the EPF strategic plan, and to contribute to reinforcing EPF’s role as the key interlocutor on cross-cutting health-related policy issues with the EU Institutions and key stakeholders. Katie is specifically responsible for EPF’s strategy on universal access to healthcare. In addition, Katie is also responsible for EPF activities relating to the sustainable development agenda, access to care and services and social policy. Katie holds a Bachelor of Science with Honours (BSc Hons) in Biological Sciences (Medical Biology) degree from The University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom, and has close to eight years of experience working for European Patient Organisations.


Sandro Galea

Dean Robert A. Knox School of Public Health, Boston University, United States 

Sandro Galea, a physician, epidemiologist, and author, is dean and Robert A. Knox Professor at Boston University School of Public Health. He previously held academic and leadership positions at Columbia University, the University of Michigan, and the New York Academy of Medicine. He has published extensively in the peer-reviewed literature, and is a regular contributor to a range of public media, about the social causes of health, mental health, and the consequences of trauma. He has been listed as one of the most widely cited scholars in the social sciences. He is chair of the board of the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health and past president of the Society for Epidemiologic Research and of the Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Science. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine. Sandro Galea has received several lifetime achievement awards. He holds a medical degree from the University of Toronto, graduate degrees from Harvard University and Columbia University, and an honorary doctorate from the University of Glasgow.


Sir Andy Haines

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom

Sir Andy Haines was Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine from 2001 until October 2010. He was a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for the 2nd and 3rd assessment exercises and was review editor for the health chapter in the 5th assessment. He chaired the Scientific Advisory Panel for the 2013 WHO World Health Report, the Rockefeller /Lancet Commission on Planetary Health (2014-15) and the European Academies Science Advisory Council working group on climate change and health (2018-19). He currently co-chairs the Inter Academy Partnership (140 science academies worldwide) working group on climate change and health. He has published many papers on topics such as the effects of environmental change on health and the health co-benefits of low carbon policies. His current research focuses on climate change mitigation, sustainable healthy food systems and complex urban systems for sustainability.


Clayton Hamilton

WHO Regional Office for Europe

Clayton Hamilton leads the Digital Health flagship programme within the WHO Regional Office for Europe’s Division for Country Health Policies and Systems, providing support and guidance on all aspects of digital health and innovation to support health systems strengthening and reform in the European Region’s 53 Member States. With a background in ICT development and business management and over 22 years of UN experience working in the fields of technology, digital health, and public health, he provides strategic guidance to assist countries in their development of national digital health programmes within the framework of delivering on WHO’s triple billion targets and in working towards the achievement of the UN Agenda for Sustainable Development. In working to accelerate the uptake of safe and inclusive digital health services for all, he leads the development of dialogue and regional guidance on digital health and innovation, establishes partnerships with major international stakeholders working to reform health systems and public health, and provides thought leadership on the adoption of frontier digital technologies to improve access to healthcare and empower individuals in their choices for better health and well-being.


Richard Horton

Editor-in-Chief of The Lancet

Richard Horton is Editor-in-Chief of The Lancet.  He qualified in physiology and medicine with honours from the University of Birmingham in 1986. He joined The Lancet in 1990, moving to New York as North American Editor in 1993. In 2016, he chaired the Expert Group for the High Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth, convened by Presidents Hollande of France and Zuma of South Africa. In 2011, he was elected a Foreign Associate of the US Institute of Medicine and, in 2015, he received the Friendship Award from the Government of China. In 2019 he was awarded the WHO Director-General’s Health Leaders Award for outstanding leadership in global health and the Roux Prize in recognition of innovation in the application of global health evidence.  He works to develop the idea of planetary health – the health of human civilizations and the ecosystems on which they depend.


Vina HuLamm

American Public Health Association (APHA)

Vina HuLamm leads the global health activities and partnerships at the American Public Health Association (APHA).  She works on policy advocacy issues, communications and professional development trainings/events.  Vina has built many collaborative partnerships with organizations and coalitions such as the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), Global Health Council, Women in Global Health (WGH), and the Thrive Coalition. She also engages with member components across the Association, including its International Health section and Committee on Women’s Rights, around global health issues. Within the WFPHA, she is a member of the International Congress Council for the 16th World Congress on Public Health as well as the chair of the Global Health Equity and Digital Technology working group.  Additionally, Vina serves as treasurer for the Alliance of Public Health Associations of the Americas and member of the Executive Committee for the WGH-DC chapter.  Currently, she is pursuing her doctorate in public health leadership at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  She has a master’s degree in global health from George Mason University.  Her professional areas of interest include public health leadership, health workforce development, and public-private partnerships. 

Bronwyn King

Founder, CEO and Director of Tobacco Free Portfolios

Bronwyn King began her medical career working as a doctor on the lung cancer ward at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, Australia. While doing her best to treat her patients (many of whom had started smoking in childhood) she observed first-hand the truly devastating impact of tobacco. She was unaware that at the very same time she was investing in Big Tobacco via her compulsory pension fund. Tobacco Free Portfolios was set up in response to that uncomfortable discovery. Since then, she has assembled an accomplished team that has been instrumental in advancing the switch to tobacco-free finance across the globe. Her 2017 TEDxSydney talk on tobacco-free finance has been viewed more than three million times. A former elite swimmer who represented Australia, she is also an Australia Day Ambassador. Bronwyn King has received numerous awards in recognition of her unique contribution to local and global health, including being appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for distinguished service to community health.


Stephen K. Klasko

President Thomas Jefferson University, CEO Jefferson Health, United States 

Stephen Klasko has been a pioneer in using connected care technology to build health assurance for all – especially during and after the Covid-19 crisis. As President and CEO of Philadelphia-based Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health since 2013, he has led one of the U.S.’s fastest growing academic health institutions based on his vision of the future of higher education. Jefferson has the largest faculty based tele-health network in the US, the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, and an outpatient department that is among the most technologically advanced in the region. Jefferson’s 14 hospitals handled the most patients with Covid-19 in Philadelphia. Immediate universal masking, early exchange with Italy, and longtime pandemic planning ensured minimal employee infection and no transmission to non-Covid-19 patients. This year Stephen Klasko co-authored ‘Un-Healthcare: a manifesto for health assurance’ and the textbook ‘Patient no longer: why healthcare must deliver the care experience that consumers want and expect. In 2020, he was named the first Distinguished Fellow of the World Economic Forum.


Hans Kluge

WHO Regional Director for Europe

Hans Kluge began his term as WHO Regional Director for Europe on 1 February 2020, following his nomination by the WHO Regional Committee for Europe and appointment by the WHO Executive Board. Hans Kluge has been active in public health for 24 years. He started his career as a family doctor in Belgium and served for Médecins Sans Frontières in Liberia and Somalia. He worked on large-scale tuberculosis programmes in prison systems in Siberia and several countries of the former Soviet Union. At the WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia, he was responsible for tuberculosis, AIDS and malaria programmes in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Myanmar. 
In the last decade at WHO Europe, Hans Kluge was engaged in large-scale system transformations, including the introduction of community-based primary health care in Greece during the financial crisis, the implementation of the Tallinn Charter, and the advancement of commitments adopted at the Global Conference on Primary Health Care in Astana, Kazakhstan, in 2018.


Rüdiger Krech

Director Department of Health Promotion, World Health Organization

Rüdiger Krech oversees WHO’s work on tobacco, health promotion, the harmful use of alcohol, physical activity, the work on healthy cities, schools and workplaces as well as health literacy, community engagement, and health in the policies. From 2012 to 2019, he was the director for Universal Health Coverage and Health Systems at the WHO. From 2009 to 2012, he was the Director of the Department of Ethics, Equity, Trade and Human Rights which also covered WHO’s work on Social Determinants of Health and Health in All Policies. Before joining WHO, he was in charge of the German International Cooperation’s (GiZ) work on social protection from 2003 to 2009, both at its headquarters in Germany and in India. He has also held various management positions at the WHO Regional Office for Europe in the fields of health systems, health policies, health promotion and ageing between 1992 and 2003. Rüdiger Krech has studied educational sciences, medicine and public health, and holds a Master’s and a Doctoral degree in public health.



Stella Kyriakides

Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, European Commission

Stella Kyriakides has been serving as European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety since 2019. As Commissioner, she has been responsible for launching Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan to help improve cancer prevention and care and exploring ways to ensure Europe has enough affordable medicines to meet its needs. She is also leading the new ‘Farm to Fork’ strategy for sustainable food. Before becoming Commissioner, she served as the first Cypriot national and third woman President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. From 2006 to 2019 she was a member of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Cyprus. In addition to her parliamentary activities, she was appointed president of the First Breast Cancer Movement in Cyprus in 1999. From 2004 until 2006, she served as president of the European Breast Cancer Coalition Europa Donna. In 2016, she was appointed President of the National Committee on Cancer Strategy of the Council of Europe. Stella Kyriakides received a degree in psychology at the University of Reading and a master's degree in child maladjustmentat the University of Manchester.


Laura Magaña

President Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH)

Laura Magaña joined the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH) as President and CEO in 2017. Under her leadership, ASPPH has continued to advance its mission to strengthen the capacity of members by advancing leadership, excellence, and collaboration for academic public health. During her tenure, ASPPH has significantly grown its global engagement, established an academy for teaching excellence, launched the academic public health leadership institute and enhanced the voice of academic public health through advocacy efforts. Prior to joining ASPPH, Laura Magaña dedicated more than 35 years to successfully leading the transformation and advancements of public and private universities in Mexico; educational organizations in the USA; United Nations programmes; and NGOs in Central America and Europe. She was most recently the dean of the School of Public Health in Mexico at the National Institute of Public Health (INSP). Her diverse portfolio features academic publications, educational technological developments many of which relate to learning environments, the use of technology in education, and public health education. She has also been a faculty member and lecturer in diverse universities around the world.


Patricio V. Marquez

Senior Consultant Covid-19 Global Emergency Program, The World Bank

Patricio Marquez worked for more than 30 years with The World Bank Group (WBG). He retired in August 2019 as a Lead Public Health Specialist Health, Nutrition and Population Global Practice.  He served in more than 80 countries across the globe, and was engaged in the preparation and management of a portfolio of multimillion projects and initiatives. In March 2020, he returned to the WBG as a Senior Consultant to support the preparation and startup implementation of the WBG Covid-19 Global Emergency Response Program (the largest and fastest crisis response program developed by the WBG in its history), that is now funding the containment and mitigation of the coronavirus in more than 100 countries. Also, in February 2020 he was appointed as Senior Associate, International Health Department, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. Since September 2019, he serves as member of the External Advisory Board of the University of Washington Global Mental Health Program. He has published extensively on various global public health topics, and received the 2000 WBG President Award for Excellence for work in Mexico. Patricio Marquez is originally from Cuenca, Ecuador. 


Diogo Martins

Policy and Advocacy Lead, Wellcome Trust, United Kingdom

Diogo Martins is a medical doctor from Portugal with extensive experience in global health and international development. He is a Policy and Advocacy Lead at the Wellcome Trust. His responsibility is to shape, develop and implement policy, advocacy and public affairs strategies in collaboration with regulators, manufacturers, donors, governments, NGOs, and multilateral agencies, including the UN and the WHO. Prior to joining the Wellcome Trust, Diogo Martins worked at the WHO in the Climate Change Unit of the Department of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health; and as a public health medical resident in the northern region of Portugal. He is a Doctor of Public Health candidate at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine; and a Fellow at The Rockefeller Foundation and Boston University Commission on Health Determinants, Data, and Decision-making. His research interests include planetary health, sustainable development and neglected tropical diseases.


Isabel de la Mata

Principal Adviser for Health and Crisis Management in the European Commission

Isabel de la Mata is currently the Principal Adviser for Health and Crisis Management in the European Commission. Previously, she worked as Counsellor for Health and Consumers at the Permanent Representation of Spain to the EU, as Deputy Director General for Health Planning at the Spanish Ministry of Health, as Adviser to the Vice-minister of Health and several other posts at the Ministry of Health of Spain and the Regional Departments in the Basque Country and in Madrid. In addition, she has been a member of the EURO-WHO Standing Committee of the Regional Committee, and has worked with the Pan American Health Organisation, the Inter-American Development Bank and the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation. Isabel de la Mata graduated in Medicine and Surgery by the University of Basque Country in 1983 and holds post-graduate degrees from the University of Leuven and Paris VI in Public Health, Hospital Administration and Statistics. She is a specialist in Preventive Medicine and Public Health.


Precious Matsoso

South Africa

Precious Matsoso is the former Director General of the National Department of Health of South Africa.  She has more than 25 years executive management experience, having held leadership positions at national and international level, covering areas of public health policy and programmes. She has been Director General of the National Department of Health for nine and a half years, during which she was responsible for bringing about various policy and legislative reforms. She served as the head of the medicines regulatory agency in South Africa for over six years. She has been chairing the Ministerial Advisory Committee on e-Health, the Technical National Health Council and the Policy Review Committee of the South African National Aids Council. She was the WHO Director of Public Health Innovation and Intellectual Property. She has been appointed to various international governance and advisory bodies. She served as a Member of the WHO Executive Board for a three year term. She was appointed by the UN Secretary General as a member of a UN High Level Panel on Access to Health Technologies, a panel comprised of eminent leaders from the public and commercial worlds. She served as the Chair of the Independent Oversight and Advisory Committee (IOAC) of the WHO’s Emergencies Programme and continues to be a member.



Martin McKee

Co-Chair of the International Congress Committee of the 16th World Congress on Public Health 

Martin McKee is Professor of European Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and was the founding director of the European Centre on Health of Societies in Transition (ECOHOST). He is also research director of the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies. He has published over 740 academic papers and 42 books and his contributions to European health policy have been recognised by, among others, election to the UK Academy of Medical Sciences, the Romanian Academy of Medical Sciences, and the US Institute of Medicine, by the award of honorary doctorates from Hungary, The Netherlands, and Sweden and visiting professorships at universities in Europe and Asia. In 2005 he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE).


John Middleton

President Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region (ASPHER)

John Middeleton is the current President of the Association of  Schools of Public Health in the European Region (ASPHER). He is Honorary Professor of Public Heath at Wolverhampton University and  Visiting Professor of  Public Health at Chester  University, United Kingdom. He was President of the United Kingdom Faculty of Public Health, the standard setting body for public health professionals in the United Kingdom until June 2019. He was Director of Public Health for Sandwell in the West Midlands of England for 27 years; until he retired in 2014, he was the longest serving DPH in England. He was awarded Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians (London) in September 2015. He lives in Coventry in the West Midlands. He has interests in environmental health, sustainable development and violence prevention.  In another life he is a blues harmonica player with albums on Spotify and Apple music.



Pete Milos Venticich

Young professional and Public Health Officer, Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, Australia

Pete Milos Venticich is an early-career public health professional who understands the challenges and opportunities facing the emerging workforce. He currently works in a COVID-19 epidemiological surveillance team at the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services in Melbourne, Australia – on the land of the Wurundjeri People. In 2019, he graduated from the Europubhealth Public Health Master Programme, after studying at the Andalusian School of Public Health in Granada in Spain and Maastricht University in The Netherlands. He worked on his thesis project with Public Health Wales, aimed at improving intersectoral governance for physical activity promotion. Previously, he worked in physical activity and sport, and has experience in migrant health and social services. He now wants to build a career in intersectoral health promotion with a focus on health equity and community engagement. Pete Milos Venticich believes public health is our way to make positive change in the world.


Michael Moore

Co-chair of the 16th World Congress on Public Health

Michael Moore is Past President of the World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA) and in 2018 retired as CEO of the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA). He has been on a range of scientific committees for national and international health conferences and has chaired a number of health networks.  He was an Independent member of the Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly for four terms from 1989 to 2001. He was Australia’s first independent Minister when he was appointed as Minister of Health and Community Care. In 2017 he was honoured by being made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM). Michael Moore is a former teacher, small business owner and consultant who holds a post-graduate diploma in education, a master’s degree in population health from the Australian National University and a PhD from the University of Canberra examining effective public health advocacy. He is a Distinguished Fellow at The George Institute for Global Health, a Visiting Professor at the University of Technology Sydney, and an Adjunct Professor with the University of Canberra. He was the Public Health Association of Australia’s Sidney Sax Medallist in 2018 and was made a Life Member in 2019. He has widely published, including over thirty peer reviewed publications. He is also a political and social columnist who has served on a range of academic and community boards.  Michael Moore chaired the 15th World Congress on Public Health in Melbourne, 2017.


Christopher Murray

Director Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), University of Washington, United States

Christopher Murray’s career has focused on improving health for everyone worldwide by improving health evidence. A physician and health economist, his work has led to the development of a range of new methods and empirical studies to strengthen health measurement, analyze the performance of public health and medical care systems, and assess the cost-effectiveness of health technologies. IHME provides rigorous and comparable measurement of the world’s most important health problems and evaluates the strategies used to address them. He is also Professor and Chair of Health Metrics Sciences at the University of Washington, Seattle, United States. Before founding IHME, Christopher Murray served as Executive Director, Evidence and Information for Policy Cluster at the World Health Organization, Director, Harvard Initiative for Global Health and Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, and Richard Saltonstall Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard School of Public Health. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) and 2018 co-recipient of the John Dirks Canada Gairdner Global Health Award.




Iveta Nagyova

Co-Chair of the 16th World Congress on Public Health 

Iveta Nagyova is the Head of the Department of Social and Behavioural Medicine at Pavol Jozef Safarik University (UPJS) in Kosice, Slovakia. She is also the President of the European Public Health Association (EUPHA), a member of the European Advisory Committee on Health Research (EACHR) at WHO/Europe, and a founding member and Executive director of the Slovak Public Health Association (SAVEZ). She graduated in Clinical Psychology at UPJS, obtained her PhD in Medical Sciences from the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, and received a postgraduate training at the University of Oxford within the Oxford International Primary Care Research Leadership Programme. Her research interests are in biobehavioural and psychosocial innovations in chronic disease prevention and management, non-pharmacological interventions, and behavioural insights in public health. She is involved in academic publishing, supervision of PhD students, and knowledge translation.  She has won several national and international awards for her work, and she is frequently invited to act at conferences and expert committees.



Naomi Limaro Nathan

Young professional, WHO Regional Office for Europe

Naomi Nathan is a trained medical doctor with a dual Master of Public Health, specializing in Health Economics and Governance of Health Systems in Transition. She is currently gaining practical experiences in health systems governance and policies at the WHO Regional Office for Europe. Her interest lies in tackling health systems challenges, particularly in the domain of governance and policies for the creation of sustainable and resilient health systems globally, currently focusing on Europe (particularly Eastern European and Central Asian countries). She is also an advocate for the engagement and empowerment of the young public health workforce to be fit for purposeful work and make an impact in the field. She will enthusiastically engage in conversations and discussion which can help create long-lasting solutions for health systems and policies challenges and how to further develop the public health workforce.


Anna Odone

Professor of Public Health, San Raffaele University, Italy

Anna Odone is Associate Professor of Public Health at the Faculty of Medicine of the University Vita-Salute San Raffaele in Milan, Italy. Consultant physician, responsible for the Unit of Clinical Epidemiology and Health Technology Assessment (HTA) at San Raffaele Scientific Institute, she is the President of the Digital Health Section of the European Public Health Association (EUPHA). Passionate about the value of public health, she is mentor to public health researchers, residents and PhD students; her research is in the field of infectious diseases control, with a focus on vaccines and immunisation programmes and policies, digital public health and HTA. Anna Odone qualified in Medicine and specialized in Hygiene and Public Health at the University of Parma, Italy. She received an M.Sc. in Epidemiology  from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (London, UK) and an MPH in Health Policy and Management as a Fulbright Scholar from the Harvard School of Public Health (Boston, US). She holds a PhD in Medical Sciences from the University of Parma.

Sabina F. Rachid

Co-chair 16th World Congress on Public Health

Sabina F. Rashid is a medical anthropologist and Dean (since 2013) and Professor at the BRAC School of Public Health, BRAC University, Dhaka, Bangladesh. She has over 25 years of work experience with expertise in ethnographic and qualitative research. Her research interests include gender, sexual and reproductive health and rights, sexuality, human rights, urban poverty, governance and health services; the well-being of adolescents, youth and marginalized populations.


Giuseppe Remuzzi

Director Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research, Professor of Nephrology, University of Milan, Italy

From 1996 until 2013 Giuseppe Remuzzi served as Director of the public-private Department of Immunology and Transplant Medicine (a collaboration between the Ospedali Riuniti of Bergamo and the Mario Negri Institute) and from 1999 until 2018 he has also been Head of the Division of Nephrology and Dialysis. From 2011 until 2015 he was Director of the Department of Medicine of the Azienda Ospedaliera Papa Giovanni XXIII of Bergamo. In June 2015 he was nominated Chiara Fama Professor of Nephrology at the University of Milan. His main research interests include the causes of glomerulonephritis and the mechanisms of progression of kidney diseases. He has also conducted many studies in the field of transplant rejection. In recognition of his achievements, he received many national and international awards, among them the ISN Jean Hamburger Award in 2005 during the World Congress of Nephrology in Singapore, the John P. Peters Award (American Society of Nephrology 2007, San Francisco) and the “Lennox K. Black International Prize for Excellence in Medicine” (Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia). He is the author of over 1500 publications in international medical journals and has written 19 books.


Gita Sen

Ramalingaswami Centre, Public Health Foundation, India

Gita Sen is 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 T. H. 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, and of WHO’s Advisory Committee on Health Research. 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. She received the Volvo Environment Prize for her work on women, population and development, and Honorary Doctorates from the Karolinska Institute (Sweden), the University of East Anglia, the Open University (UK), the University of Sussex, and the University of Edinburgh (UK).


Roberta Siliquini

Torino University, School of Specialization in Public Health, Turin, Italy

Roberta Siliquini is full Professor of Public Health at Torino University and Director of the School of Specialization in Public Health; currently she is also the Dean of the Medical School. From 2014 to 2018 she was President of the ‘Consiglio Superiore di Sanita’, the highest Advisory Council of the Italian Ministry of Health, being the first woman in this position since the foundation of the Council in 1845. She is a member of the National Committee for Biotechnologies and Life Sciences. She is also member of the National Board of the Italian Society of Hygiene Preventive Medicine and Public Health (SItI), member of the European Public Health Association (EUPHA), member of the Italian Society of Medical Manager (SIMM). She is the author of more than 300 papers focused on public health topics and health services organization.


Luís Eugênio de Souza

Co-chair 16th World Congress on Public Health

Luís Eugênio Portela Fernandes de Souza is a Brazilian scholar who has a degree in Medicine and a master degree in Community Health from the Federal University of Bahia, Brazil, and a doctorate in Public Health from the University of Montreal, Canada. He was a public health worker at the State Health Secretariat of Bahia from 1989 until 1995 and a professor at the Feira de Santana State University, Bahia, Brazil, from 1996 until 2004. Since 2004, he is a professor at the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA). He has taught and written on health policy analysis, scientific knowledge use and innovation, judicialization of health (courts’ decisions that impact the healthcare system) and the impact of economic crisis and austerity measures in healthcare and population health. In addition to his academic activities, he has assumed important political and managerial positions in the Brazilian Unified Health System. From 2005 to 2007, he was head of the Municipal Health Secretariat of Salvador de Bahia, Brazil, and from 2008 to 2009, he was director general of the Science and Technology Department of the Ministry of Health. He is President-Elect of the World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA).


Sheila Dinotshe Tlou

Co-chair 16th World Congress on Public Health

Sheila Tlou is the Co-Chair of the Global HIV Prevention Coalition and the Co-Chair of the Nursing Now Global Campaign. From 2010 to 2017 she was Director of the UNAIDS Regional Support Team for Eastern and Southern Africa. She is a former Member of Parliament and Minister of Health of the Republic of Botswana (2004-2008).  She is also former Professor of Nursing at the University of Botswana and Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing and Midwifery Development in Primary Health Care for Anglophone Africa.  She has conducted research and taught courses to nursing, pre-medical and social science students on gender issues relating to HIV/AIDS, sexual and reproductive health and rights, ageing and older persons. She has played a key role in the development of national nursing and medical education curricula, working to broaden the scope of health sciences education in her home country of Botswana. She holds a PhD in Nursing Sciences and post-graduate Certificates in Women’s health and Gender studies, from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has a Masters degree in Nursing Education and Instruction from Columbia University Sheila Tlou has just made Avance Media’s list of 100 Most Influential Women in Africa.


Carolina Urrutia

Secretary of Environment, City of Bogotá, Colombia

Carolina Urrutia has more than 20 years of experience working on environmental issues, most recently as Secretary of Environment of the City of Bogotá, Colombia. Prior to this post, she was the director of Parques CómoVamos, an alliance between NGOs to advocate for Colombia’s National Park System. She has previously also led the environmental unit at Colombia’s National Planning Department. Carolina Urrutia holds a master’s in public policy (MPP) from Harvard’s Kennedy School, United States.