Governance

The Defeating Malaria Board of Directors is a critical governance body appointed by the board Co-Chairs, Michelle A. Williams, Dean of the Faculty at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Rose Leke, Emeritus Professor of Immunology and Parasitology at the University of Yaoundé I.

Members of the board are focused on helping to ensure the fulfillment of the goals of the Defeating Malaria Initiative. Composed of distinguished individuals who share an awareness and deep concern for the incidence of malaria worldwide, a sense of urgency related to the need and potential to control and eradicate the disease, and a keen interest in the novel, multi-disciplinary approach of the Defeating Malaria Initiative and its approach to solving other critical global public health challenges.

Defeating Malaria Board       Advisors

Defeating Malaria Board, Co-Chair

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Rose Gana Fomban Leke

Emeritus Professor of Immunology and Parasitology, University of Yaoundé I

Rose Gana Fomban Leke

Emeritus Professor of Immunology and Parasitology, University of Yaoundé I

Rose Leke is Emeritus Professor of Immunology and Parasitology at the University of Yaoundé I. Her primary research interests center on the immunology of parasitic infections, in particular, malaria. Professor Leke has a keen interest in global health issues and has been involved in the worldwide Polio Eradication Initiative, global malaria elimination activities, and health systems strengthening efforts. She has been very effective in the training of the next generation of scientists, namely the empowerment of the young female scientists and women overall. Higher Women Cameroon, a high-impact mentoring program, is one of her primary initiatives. In March 2013, she stepped down as Head of Department of Immunology and Parasitology at the Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and Director of the Biotechnology Centre at the University of Yaounde.

Professor Leke is Co-Chair of a global engagement called, “Rethinking Malaria in the Context of COVID–19” alongside Professor Dyann Wirth at Harvard University and serves as Executive Director of the Cameroon Coalition against malaria. She is Chair of the Multilateral Initiative on Malaria (MIM) Secretariat, a member of the Canada Gairdner Foundation Global Health Award Advisory Committee, and President of the Federation of African Immunological Societies. Professor Leke is also a fellow of the Cameroon Academy of Sciences CAS, fellow of the African Academy of Science AAS, fellow of the World Academy of Science, and two-term Council member of the International Union of Immunological Societies.

Professor Leke is Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Medical Research Institute and serves as Vice President of the Scientific Committee of Cameroon First Lady’s Research Centre. She is a member and Chair of the African Advisory Committee for Health Research (ACHR) and Global ACHR; Board member of the Global Forum for Health Research; and served as Vice-Chair of the Technical Evaluation Reference Group (TERG) of the Global Fund to Fight HIV, TB, and Malaria. She was awarded a Plaque of Honor in recognition of her “outstanding Services and dedication in leading the TERG” in 2009.

She has served as a consultant on several past/current committees of the WHO, including Malaria Policy Advisory Committee, Malaria Elimination Oversight Committee, Global Certification Commission, Emergency Committee for Polio Eradication, and the Chair of the African Regional Commission for the Certification of the Eradication of Poliomyelitis. She also served as Chair of the Data Management Committee for a trial on Azithromycin-chloroquine, was a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Ebola vaccine trials in Guinea.

In 2011, she was one of six women who received the African Union Kwame Nkrumah Scientific Award for Women and received the 2012 award for Excellence in Science from the Cameroon Professional Society. In 2014, she served as the Aggrey-Fraser-Guggisberg Memorial Lecturer at the University of Ghana and was awarded a Doctor Honoris Causa (DSc). In 2015, she was elected International Honorary Fellow of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. In 2018, she was elected one of nine women as Heroine of Health and was celebrated in a special event in Geneva in the presence of the Director-General World Health Organization (WHO), the Regional Director WHO/African Regional Office, and the Cameroon Minister of Health. On November 23, 2018, she was crowned by the Cameroon Medical Council as Queen Mother of the Cameroonian Medical Community.

Defeating Malaria Board, Co-Chair

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Michelle A. Williams

Dean of the Faculty, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Michelle A. Williams

Dean of the Faculty, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Dean Michelle A. Williams is an internationally renowned epidemiologist and public health scientist, an award-winning educator, and a widely recognized academic leader. Prior to becoming Dean of the Faculty at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in July 2016, she was professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology and program leader of Harvard’s Clinical and Translational Sciences Center (Harvard Catalyst) Population Health and Health Disparities Research Program.

Dean Williams joined the Harvard Chan faculty after a distinguished career at the University of Washington (UW) School of Public Health. While at UW, she served as co-director of the Center for Perinatal Studies at the Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, WA. She developed and directed the Reproductive Pediatric and Perinatal Training Program at the UW, held a joint appointment in Global Health from 2008–2011, and was an affiliate investigator at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center 1992–2010.

As an acclaimed researcher, Dean Williams’s scientific workplaces special emphasis in the areas of reproductive, perinatal, pediatric, and molecular epidemiology. She has extensive experience in carrying out large-scale, multidisciplinary research involving the collection and analysis of epidemiological data (e.g., sleep characteristics, physical activity, dietary intake, and environmental exposures) and biological specimens (e.g., blood-based biochemistry/biomarkers, flow cytometry, genetic variants, whole-genome expression of mRNA and miRNA), both domestically and internationally.

Dean Williams has published more than 425 peer-reviewed research papers ranging from studies of modifiable behavioral and environmental determinants of adverse health outcomes to genetic and genomic studies of common complications of pregnancy and chronic disorders among children and adults.

She has successfully administered large-scale, clinical epidemiology studies that seek to understand genetic and environmental causes of adverse pregnancy outcomes and other non-communicable disorders along the life course. Dean Williams also developed and directed (for more than seven years) the Reproductive Pediatric and Perinatal Training Program at the UW.

In 1994, Dean Williams developed and is currently directing, the NIH-funded multidisciplinary international research training (MIRT) program that allows for the development and operations of undergraduate and graduate student training in global health, biostatistics, and epidemiology in over 14 foreign research sites in South America, South East Asia, Africa, and Europe. She was appointed Board Co-Chair of Defeating Malaria: From the Genes to the Globe Initiative at Harvard University in 2016.

Dean Williams has been recognized for her excellence in teaching, as the recipient of the Harvard Chan School’s Outstanding Mentor Award (2015), the White House’s Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring (2012), the UW’s Brotman Award for excellence in teaching (2007), and the American Public Health Association’s Abraham Lilienfeld Award for education in epidemiology (2007). She earned undergraduate degrees in Biology and Genetics from Princeton University in 1984. She earned a master’s degree in Civil Engineering from Tufts University, and a master’s and doctoral degree in Epidemiology from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard University.

Defeating Malaria Board, Member

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Ray Chambers

Ambassador for Global Strategy, World Health Organization

Ray Chambers

Ambassador for Global Strategy, World Health Organization

Mr Ray Chambers is a philanthropist and humanitarian who has directed most of his efforts towards helping children. He is the founding chairman of the Points of Light Foundation and co-founder, with Colin Powell, of America’s Promise–The Alliance for Youth. He also co-founded the National Mentoring Partnership and the Millennium Promise Alliance. Mr Chambers is the co-founder of Malaria No More, with Peter Chernin. He is also the founding chairman of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center and is the former chairman of Wesray Capital Corporation, which he co-founded with William E. Simon. In September 2018, he was appointed Ambassador for Global Strategy for the World Health Organization (WHO) by Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. Prior to this role, he served as the Special Envoy for Financing of the Health Related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Special Envoy for Health in Agenda 2030 and for Malaria, by UN Secretary-General Ki-moon. He is the first person to hold the newly created position. He served as the founding Board Co-Chair of Harvard University’s Defeating Malaria: From the Genes to the Globe Initiative alongside Julio Frenk, former Dean of the Faculty at the Harvard Chan, from 2012–2018. Mr Chambers is a member of the Defeating Malaria Board and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Communication Advisory Board.

Defeating Malaria Board, Member

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J. Christopher Flowers

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, JC Flowers & Co. LLC.

J. Christopher Flowers

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, J.C. Flowers & Co. LLC.

Mr J. Christopher Flowers is chairman and chief executive officer of J.C. Flowers & Co. LLC, an investment company founded in 1998 and specializing in financial services. The JC Flowers & Co. Fund has assets under management of US $8 billion. Mr Flowers previously served as a partner in charge of the Financial Institutions Group at Goldman Sachs from 1979–1998. Mr Flowers was among the founders of Goldman’s Financial Institutions Group in 1986 and became a general partner of Goldman in 1988.

Among Mr Flower’s philanthropic engagements include serving as a trustee of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, launching and supporting NetsforLife, co-founding the Isdell:Flowers Cross Border Malaria Initiative in Africa, supporting the Harlem Parolee Initiative, and founding the J.C. Flowers Foundation. He graduated magna cum laude in Applied Mathematics from Harvard University in 1979.

Defeating Malaria Board, Member

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James M. Jones

Executive Director, ExxonMobil Foundation

James M. Jones

Director, Global Community Programs and Strategy, ExxonMobil Foundation

Mr James M. Jones is director, Global Community Programs and Strategy, at the ExxonMobil Foundation. In this capacity, he oversees the ExxonMobil Foundation’s major grant-making programs in global health (specifically in the fight against malaria), women’s economic opportunities, and US math and science education. Previously,
he directed ExxonMobil’s global brand, advertising, and integrated communications work.

Prior to his work in the private sector, Mr Jones was the founding executive vice president at the Vaccine (now GAVI) Fund. He also was vice president of programs and policy at the Children’s Defense Fund where he oversaw the organization’s work on education, juvenile justice, child welfare, and health. For a dozen years, he served in various capacities in the US Congress, including director of communications and policy to then-Senator John F. Kerry, for whom he drafted global health legislation, including the original federal spending authorizations for many product development partnerships. Mr Jones is a graduate of Georgetown University and Oxford University; he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study international economics at the University of Munich.

Defeating Malaria Board, Member

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Nobuaki Mito, MD

Managing Executive Officer and President, Health & Crop Sciences Sector, Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd.

Dr Nobuaki Mito graduated from the Department of Agricultural Chemistry at Nagoya University in 1983. He undertook doctoral studies under the supervision of Professor Kozo Ishizuka at Tsukuba University in 1989. He joined the Department of Vegetable Crops at the University of California Davis to work with Professor Alan Bennett as a Visiting Scientist researching gene expression during tomato fruit maturation.

In 1985, Dr Mito joined Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd. In 2007, He became Group Manager, Environmental Health Science Research at Agricultural Chemicals Research Laboratory (presently, Health & Crop Sciences Research Laboratory) at Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd. He also served as General Manager of Vector Control Department in 2008, leading the development of a long-lasting insecticidal net, new mosquito larvicide formulation, and mosquito indoor residual spraying product.

In 2013, Dr Mito has been assigned as General Manager of the Intellectual Property Department at Sumitomo Chemical Co. Ltd. He became responsible for Corporate Business Development as Managing Executive Officer in 2017. In 2019, he served as Managing Executive Officer responsible for Planning, R&D, and Pharmaceutical Chemicals Department at Health & Crop Sciences Sector. He became President of the Health & Crop Science Sector in 2020.

 

 

 

 

Defeating Malaria Board, Member

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Daouda Ndiaye, PharmD, PhD

Professor and Head, Department of Parasitology and Mycology, Faculty of Medicine, Pharmacy, Cheikh Anta Diop University (UCAD)
Founding Director, UCAD’s International Center for Research and Training in Applied Genomics and Health Surveillance (CIGASS)

Professor Daouda Ndiaye is professor and head of the Department of Parasitology and Mycology in the Faculty of Medicine, Pharmacy at Cheikh Anta Diop University. He is also head of the parasitology laboratories at LeDantec Research and Teaching Hospital and founding director of the newly established UCAD’s International Center for Research and Training in Applied Genomics and Health Surveillance (CIGASS) in Dakar, Senegal. Professor Ndiaye is the general secretary of the UCAD center of excellence CEA-SAME, and a member of the UCAD scientific advisory committee. Professor Ndiaye manages field site activities in Senegal for a number of collaborating institutions, including Harvard University, Tulane University, and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. He serves as director of the International Research and Training Center on Infectious Pathogens and Genomics, and Senegal-Director of the Senegal Harvard Malaria Initiative.

Professor Ndiaye has extensive experience interacting with international collaborators and scientific bodies, having worked with collaborators from other malaria-endemic countries as well as with partners in Europe and the US. At the World Health Organization, He serves as a consultant on behalf of the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Malaria Programme, including service as a technical advisor on malaria diagnostics, an expert on drug resistance and response, and a malaria expert and member of the WHO Malaria Elimination Certification Panel. Professor Ndiaye earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmacy and Parasitology from Cheikh Anta Diop University in Senegal and received a Fogarty Fellowship to study molecular biology in the laboratory of Professor Dyann F. Wirth at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. In 2017, he was named a Fellow of the American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene. He is a technical advisor on the USAID/PMI IMPACT Malaria partnership.

Defeating Malaria Board, Member

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Jim Ovia

Founder and Chairman, Zenith Bank Plc

Jim Ovia

Founder and Chairman, Zenith Bank Plc

Jim Ovia is Founder and Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc, one of Africa’s largest banks with over $16USD billion in assets (December 2017). Zenith Bank is listed on the London Stock Exchange as well as on the Nigerian Stock Exchange and maintains major operations in Nigeria and other West African countries, including sizeable operations in London and Dubai. As part of his philanthropic efforts, Jim Ovia is a founding director of the Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria (PHN) in collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Realizing the important role that education played in his personal success, he established the Jim Ovia Foundation. To date, over 1,500 students have been supported with university scholarships from the foundation. He also established James Hope College in his hometown of Agbor, Delta State; a co-educational boarding school that provides scholarships for over 50% of its pupils.

Mr Ovia’s latest book “Africa Rise and Shine,” published by ForbesBooks, details Zenith Bank’s meteoric rise and outlines the secrets to success in doing business in Africa. His contribution to the Nigerian economy has been recognized by successive governments, and he was conferred in 2011 with the national award of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON). Jim Ovia was appointed as a member of the World Economic Forum Community of Chairmen in January 2017 and is the current Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Africa Regional Business Council. He is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School (OPM), University of Louisiana (MBA), and Southern University, Louisiana, (BSc Business Administration).

Defeating Malaria Board, Member

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David Walton

Global Malaria Coordinator, US President’s Malaria Initiative

David Walton

Global Malaria Coordinator, US President’s Malaria Initiative

Dr David Walton was appointed the Global Malaria Coordinator for the US President’s Malaria Initiative, by President Biden in 2022. He brings over two decades of experience working in global health, including working on the ground in Haiti to fight the 2010 cholera outbreak and on the front lines of the 2014 Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. Dr Walton has a proven track record of building local partnerships to expand access to care and providing primary health services to the hardest-to-reach populations.

Led by USAID and co-implemented with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, PMI supports 27 partner country programs in sub-Saharan Africa and the Greater Mekong Subregion in Southeast Asia – accounting for over 80 percent of the world’s malaria burden. Together with global partners and national governments, PMI has helped save 10.6 million lives and prevented 1.7 billion malaria cases.

Dr Walton takes the helm of PMI after serving as the Senior Director of Global Health at the Butterfly Network, Inc., co-founding Build Health International, and 15 years with Partners In Health. Dr Walton was previously an Associate Physician in the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and an Instructor in Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He earned a Medical degree from Harvard Medical School and a master’s degree in Public Health from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. He trained in Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital where he served as the first Doris and Howard Hiatt Global Health Equity resident.

Defeating Malaria Board, Member

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Muhammad Pate

Julio Frenk Professor of the Practice of Public Health Leadership

Muhammad Ali Pate

Julio Frenk Professor of the Practice of Public Health Leadership

In July 2019, Dr Muhammad Ali Pate was appointed Julio Frenk Professor of Public Health Leadership in the Department of Global Health and Population at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Professor Pate took a leave of absence (from summer 2019 to September 2021) to serve a joint role of Global Director of Health, Nutrition, and Population at the World Bank Group and Director, Global Financing Facility for Women, Children and Adolescents, an NGO in Washington, DC.

Dr Pate is the former Minister of State for Health of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from 2011–2013 and former member of the President’s Economic Management Team. During his tenure at the Minister of Health, he helped mobilize more than US$1 billion in additional financing for primary health care, chaired the Presidential Task Force on Polio Eradication in Nigeria, and developed innovative results-based initiatives, including a prevention program to reduce mother-to-child transmission of HIV and a clinical governance effort. Since June 2010, Dr Pate has co-chaired the Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria, which raised US$24 million domestically for investments to complement the Nigerian government’s Saving One Million Lives Initiative. Prior to his ministerial appointment, he served as chief executive of Nigeria’s National Primary Health Care Development Agency from 2008–2011, where he pioneered innovative strategies and interventions to address major primary health care issues in Nigeria. Dr Pate served as co-chair of the Harvard-London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine panel to review and advise the global health system on the lessons learned from the 2014 West African Ebola Outbreak. He is an adjunct professor of Global Health at Duke University and served as a 2016 Menschel Senior Leadership Fellow at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

During the course of his career, Dr Pate spent several years at the World Bank Group in Washington, DC, which included serving as senior health specialist and human development sector coordinator in the East Asia Pacific Region and also as a senior health specialist in the African Region.  He also served as chief executive officer of Big Win Philanthropy, a foundation that invests in maternal, child and reproductive health, nutrition and education, among other areas. Dr Pate is a medical doctor with US Board Certifications in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases. He trained in sub-specialty of Infectious Diseases at the University of Rochester, NY. He earned a master’s degree in Business Administration with a health sector concentration from Duke University and a master’s degree in Health System Management from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. He earned a Medical degree from the Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria in 1990. He has been honored with numerous global health awards, including the 2012 Harvard Health Leadership Award, and has authored or contributed to dozens of peer-reviewed publications and contributed book chapters.

Defeating Malaria Board, Member

Regina Rabinovich

ExxonMobil Malaria Scholar in Residence, Harvard University
Director, Malaria Elimination Initiative and International Scholar, Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal)

Since 2012, Dr Regina Rabinovich has served as the ExxonMobil Malaria Scholar in Residence at Harvard University. She is a global health leader with over 25 years’ experience in the research, public health, and philanthropic sectors, with focus on strategy, analytics, global health product development, and the introduction and scale-up of tools and strategies resulting in a positive impact on endemic populations.

Prior to joining Harvard University, she served as director of the Infectious Diseases Unit at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (2003–2012), overseeing the development and implementation of strategies for the prevention, treatment, and control of diseases of particular relevance to global health, including malaria, pneumonia, diarrhea, and neglected infectious diseases.

Dr Rabinovich has also served in various positions at the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), focusing on the development and evaluation of vaccines. She participated in the Children’s Vaccine Initiative, a global effort to prevent infectious diseases in children in the developing world, and served as liaison to the National Vaccine Program Office, focusing on vaccine safety and vaccine research. As chief of the Clinical and Regulatory Affairs Branch of the Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, she managed the evaluation of candidate vaccines through a network of US clinical research units.

In 1999, Dr Rabinovich became director of the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative, a project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to advance efforts to develop promising malaria vaccine candidates. She serves on the boards of several organizations focused on global health and infectious diseases, including the Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB) and the Sabin Vaccine Institute. She is an advisor to the Board of Harvard University’s Defeating Malaria: From the Genes to the Globe Initiative and past president of the American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene. Dr Rabinovich earned a Medical degree from Southern Illinois University and a master’s degree in Public Health from the University of North Carolina.

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Regina Rabinovich

ExxonMobil Malaria Scholar in Residence, Harvard University

Defeating Malaria Board, Member

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Daniel H. Stern

Co-Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer, Reservoir Capital Group

Daniel H. Stern

Co-Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer, Reservoir Capital Group

Mr Daniel H. Stern is co-founder and co-chief executive officer of Reservoir Capital Group, a New York-based investment management firm. Prior to founding Reservoir Capital Group in 1998, Mr Stern co-founded and was president of Ziff Brothers Investments, a private investment advisory firm. Mr Stern has participated in the formation and development of numerous investment management entities, including Starwood Capital, Och-Ziff Capital Management, HBK Investments, Ellington Capital Management, and Anchorage Capital, among others. He previously worked with the Burden Family in New York and the Bass Family in Fort Worth, Texas.

Mr Stern is president of the Film Society of Lincoln Center. He is a trustee of the Mt. Sinai Medical Center, the Educational Broadcasting Corporation, and the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. He is a Board member of Harvard University’s Defeating Malaria: From the Genes to the Globe Initiative. Mr Stern earned a bachelor’s degree from Harvard College and a master’s of Business Administration from Harvard Business School.

Defeating Malaria Board, Member

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Philip Welkhoff

Director, Malaria Program, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Philip Welkhoff

Director, Malaria Program, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Dr Philip Welkhoff is director of the Malaria Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Previously, he served as director of research at the Institute for Disease Modeling. There, he helped develop computer simulations of malaria, polio, and other disease transmission dynamics to assist public health professionals and other scientists in planning the eradication of different diseases.

Dr Welkhoff received a Special Achievement Award by a Hertz Fellow in 2009 for his work on malaria modeling. He earned dual undergraduate degrees in Mathematics and Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas, Austin and earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Applied and Computational Mathematics from Princeton University. At Princeton, his work focused on biophysically-inspired models of neural circuits for perceptual decision making. He has served on the Board of the Fannie and John Hertz Foundation and he now serves as a senior interviewer. Prior to joining the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, he served as a pro bono external advisor to various programs, including Agriculture and Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene.

Defeating Malaria Board, Member

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Dyann F. Wirth

Richard Pearson Strong Professor of Infectious Diseases, Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Dyann F. Wirth

Richard Pearson Strong Professor of Infectious Diseases, Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Professor Dyann F. Wirth has been a major leader in malaria research for more than 30 years. Recognizing the importance of bringing cutting-edge genomic science to the study of infectious diseases, she joined the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard shortly after its establishment to lead its infectious diseases initiative. two-term Using a multidisciplinary approach, her group explores challenges related to mosquito biology and the malaria parasite.

Leveraging the genomic tools of the human genome project, the group has applied state-of-the-art technologies and novel approaches to better understand the fundamental biology of the malaria parasite, evolution, and mechanisms of drug and insecticide resistance. This work has provided completely new insight into how the malaria parasite has evolved, specifically in the areas of population biology, drug resistance, and antigenicity. The group’s current efforts seek to determine both the number and identity of genes expressed by the parasite in response to drug treatment and to evaluate the role of these genes for parasite survival. This work aims to understand basic molecular mechanisms in protozoan parasites. Current findings have made significant contributions to advancing our understanding of malaria vaccine efficacy with long-term R&D goals to discover and apply preventive and therapeutic interventions against malaria infection. The group’s research activities are made possible through collaborative research partnerships with investigators, universities, and clinical centers in Africa, Asia, and the Americas.

In addition to her research and teaching efforts, Professor Wirth directs Harvard’s Defeating Malaria: From the Genes to the Globe Initiative, a university-wide effort to produce, transmit, and translate knowledge to support the control and eradication of malaria. Wirth is past chair of the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at the Harvard Chan (2006–2018). Starting in late 2020, Professor Wirth has served as Co-Chair of a global engagement called, “Rethinking Malaria in the Context of COVID–19” at Harvard University alongside Professor Rose Leke. Wirth is an Institute Member of the Broad Institute; member and current Chair of the World Health Organization’s Malaria Policy Advisory Group (MPAG); fellow and past President of the American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene (ASTMH); a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and American Association for the Advancement of Science; and member of the National Academy of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. Professor Wirth is a recipient of the ASTMH’s Joseph Augustine LePrince Medal and honored with BioMalPar’s Lifetime Achievement Award and USF Presidents Global Leadership Award in 2018. She is a past board member of the Burroughs Wellcome Fund and the Marine Biological Laboratory.

Advisor

Corine Karema

Interim Chief Executive Officer, RBM Partnership to End Malaria

In April 2022, the RBM Partnership to End Malaria Partnership to End Malaria appointed Dr Corine Karema as Interim CEO. Dr Karema has most recently served as Special Advisor to the Board Chair of The Global Fund, a partnership designed to accelerate the end of AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria as epidemics. Previously, she was the Malaria Senior Programme Officer at the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) and led the malaria experts’ group of the technical Panel review of the Global Fund.

Before these senior technical and advocacy roles, Dr Karema was Director of the Rwanda National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP) for ten years, following five years as Head of the Malaria & Other Parasitic Diseases (Neglected Tropical Diseases) Division. During her time at the NMCP, she led the development of malaria control strategies, policies, and research, which has guided the implementation of evidence-based malaria control interventions resulting in increased coverage of key interventions and reductions in malaria morbidity and mortality in Rwanda. She is trained as a medical doctor and holds a master’s degree in Sciences in Epidemiology from the University of Rwanda.

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Corine Karema

Interim Chief Executive Officer, RBM Partnership to End Malaria