We are delighted to welcome local, national, and international leaders, experts, and practitioners to engage in important topics surrounding global health. View the profiles below to find out more about this year's speakers and panelists.
MEET THE SPEAKERS
June 1, 2021
How to Respond to the Food Security Crisis Globally and at Home
Laxminarayan is founder and director of the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy (CDDEP) in Washington, D.C. and New Delhi, and a senior research scholar at Princeton University. He is an affiliate professor at the University of Washington and a visiting professor at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland and at the University of Kwazulu Natal in South Africa. Laxminarayan chairs the board of GARDP, a global product development partnership created by the World Health Organization, that aims to develop and deliver
Founder & Director, Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy (CDDEP)
new treatments for bacterial infections. He is the founder and board chair at HealthCubed, which works to improve access to healthcare and diagnostics worldwide.
Since 1995, Laxminarayan has worked to improve the understanding of antibiotic resistance as a problem of managing a shared global resource. His work encompasses extensive peer-reviewed research, public outreach, and direct engagement across Asia and Africa through the Global Antibiotic Resistance Partnership. Through his prolific research, active public outreach (including a TED talk that has been viewed over a million times), and sustained policy engagement, he has played a central role in bringing the issue of drug resistance to the attention of leaders and policymakers worldwide and to the United Nations General Assembly in September 2016.
During the Obama Administration, Laxminarayan served on the U.S. President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology’s antimicrobial resistance working group and was appointed a voting member of the U.S. Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antimicrobial Resistance. He was recently appointed to a second term by the current administration. He is a series editor of the Disease Control Priorities for Developing Countries, 3rd edition.
In 2003-04, he served on the National Academy of Science/Institute of Medicine Committee on the Economics of Antimalarial Drugs and subsequently helped create the Affordable Medicines Facility for malaria, a $450 million novel financing mechanism for antimalarials that reduced the cost of antimalarials worldwide. In 2012, Laxminarayan created the Immunization Technical Support Unit that supports the immunization program of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of the Government of India and is credited with helping introduce four new vaccines and extending vaccination coverage to 3 million infants. As Vice President, Research and Policy at the Public Health Foundation of India between 2011 and 2015, he led the growth of a research division to over 700 technical and research staff.
Laxminarayan was named a distinguished alumnus by the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani in 2019, and by the University of Washington Department of Economics in 2020. He is a winner of the Ella Pringle medal by the Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh (Pringle was the first-ever woman elected to the RCPE) and the BP Koirala medal in honor of Nepal’s first democratically elected Prime Minister. Laxminarayan’s work has been widely covered in major media outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, Associated Press, BBC, Financial Times, CNN, the Economist, LA Times, NBC, NPR, Reuters, Science, Wall Street Journal, and the National Journal. His research includes over 250 books, book chapters, and peer-reviewed papers in leading journals including the Lancet, Science, and Nature.
CEO, The Carter Center
Paige Alexander joined The Carter Center as chief executive officer in June 2020.
Ms. Alexander has had a distinguished global development career, with over two decades of experience spanning the government and nonprofit sectors. She has held senior leadership positions at two regional bureaus of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), covering missions and development programs in 25 countries.
Ms. Alexander was also senior vice president and European founder/president of IREX, an international civil society, democracy,
and education nonprofit organization.
She served as executive director of the European Cooperative for Rural Development (EUCORD) in Brussels and Amsterdam, working to bring market-led solutions to marginalized farmers in Africa to sustainably improve the livelihoods of families and communities.
Ms. Alexander earned a bachelor’s degree in organizational communication and social psychology from Tulane University Newcomb College in 1988.
Professor Dame Sally Davies
UK Special Envoy on Antimicrobial Resistance + Master, Trinity College, Cambridge
Dame Sally is UK Special Envoy on Antimicrobial Resistance.
Before this, she was Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for England and Chief Medical Adviser to the UK government from March 2011 to September 2019, having held the post on an interim basis since June 2010.
Dame Sally advocates globally on AMR. She has spoken on AMR at numerous events including the World Health Assembly side events, the G8 science ministers’ meeting in 2015, the Global Health Security Initiative in 2015, and the UN General Assembly side event in 2016. She was chair of the 2013 AMR forum at the World Innovation
Summit for Health (WISH) and was for three years the chair of the WHO Strategic and Technical Advisory Group on AMR. Most recently, Dame Sally has been appointed a co-convener of the UN Inter-Agency Co-ordination Group on AMR, set up in response to the AMR declaration made at UNGA 2016.
Dame Sally was a member of the World Health Organization (WHO) Executive Board 2014-2016 and has led delegations to a range of WHO summits and forums since 2004.
She is currently a non-executive director on the boards of: The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation; Genomics England Ltd; The Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford; The Clinton Health Access Initiative; and UK Research & Innovation. She was formerly on the boards of Cumberland Lodge and Ashridge Business School.
From 2004-2016, Dame Sally was the Chief Scientific Adviser (CSA) for the Department of Health (DH), where she was actively involved in NHS R&D from its establishment and founded the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).
Dame Sally received her DBE in 2009. She was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 2014 and a member of the National Academy of Medicine, USA in 2015.
President & CEO, CARE USA
Since July 2015, Michelle Nunn has been president and CEO of CARE USA, a leading humanitarian organization that fights global poverty and provides lifesaving assistance in emergencies.
Before joining CARE, Nunn had built an illustrious career of civic and public service as a social entrepreneur, a nonprofit CEO, and a candidate for the U.S. Senate. She co-founded the volunteer-mobilization organization Hands On Atlanta, and expanded it from a single entity to a national network of more than 50 affiliates. Nunn oversaw that group’s merger with Points of Light, creating the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service, with affiliates across the globe engaging more than 70,000 corporations and nonprofit organizations. Nunn served as Points of Light CEO from 2007 to 2013.
A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Virginia, Nunn majored in history with a minor in religion and earned her Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She also received a Kellogg Fellowship to study faith and social justice in more than a dozen countries, from Peru to Namibia to Jordan.
Nunn currently lives in Atlanta with her husband, Ron Martin, and their two children, Vinson and Elizabeth.
Director, Global Food Security Program, CSIS
From October 2018 through January 2020, Caitlin Welsh served in the National Security Council and National Economic Council as director of global economic engagement, where she coordinated U.S. policy in the G7 and G20 across multiple summits. Prior to the White House, Ms. Welsh spent over seven years in the Department of State’s Office of Global Food Security, including as acting director, offering guidance to the secretary of state on global food security and its relationship to urbanization, climate change, and conflict.
As a presidential management fellow, Ms. Welsh oversaw a portfolio of agriculture-related grants at the U.S. African Development
Ms. Welsh also lived and worked in Morocco’s breadbasket region as a Peace Corps volunteer, witnessing the complex causes and effects of food insecurity and working to improve lives through education.
Ms. Welsh received her B.A. from the University of Virginia and M.P.A. from Columbia University’s School of International Public Affairs. She hails from Erie, Pennsylvania and speaks Arabic and French.
President & CEO, World Food Program USA
Prior to WFP USA, Barron served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Development Officer at UNICEF USA where his responsibilities included serving as an Executive Management Team member with organization-wide responsibility and decision-making authority for strategy, budget, critical operational priorities, and leading the Development Division teams’ strategic direction for $500 million in annual revenue.
Prior to UNICEF USA, Barron served as the Director of Development for Georgia Public Broadcasting, where he and his team were nationally recognized for record breaking fundraising performance.
Barron also has experience in the private sector working in financial services.
Along with a distinguished career, Barron has held positions on multiple boards, he is a founding and current Board Member at the Elton John AIDS Foundation and he received a bachelor’s degree in history at Hampden-Sydney College.
Tjada D'Oyen McKenna
CEO, Mercy Corps
As Chief Executive Officer of Mercy Corps, Tjada leads a global team of over 5,600 humanitarians, who provide immediate relief to save lives and livelihoods and work to create transformational change reaching 37 million people in more than 40 countries.
Previously, she served as Chief Operating Officer of CARE, where she oversaw the organization’s programming and global operations. Tjada has also served as Chief Operating Officer at Habitat for Humanity.
Tjada spent more than a decade working to end world hunger in roles with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the U.S. government. During the Obama administration, Tjada served as the Deputy Coordinator of Development for Feed the Future, the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative, and the Assistant to the Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Bureau for Food Security in Washington, D.C.
Tjada also brings a passion for innovation to her work, developed early in her career, through various roles at McKinsey & Company, American Express and General Electric.
Tjada earned a B.A. from Harvard College and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.
June 2, 2021
Can Vaccines Win the Race Against Variants and Misinformation?
Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH, is the 19th Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the ninth Administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. She is an influential scholar whose pioneering research has helped advance the national and global response to HIV/AIDS. Dr. Walensky is also a well-respected expert on the value of testing and treatment of deadly viruses.
Dr. Walensky served as Chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital from 2017-2020 and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School from 2012-2020. She served on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic and conducted research on vaccine delivery and strategies to reach underserved communities.
Dr. Walensky is recognized internationally for her work to improve HIV screening and care in South Africa and nationally recognized for motivating health policy and informing clinical trial design and evaluation in a variety of settings.
She is a past Chair of the Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council at the National Institutes of Health, Chair-elect of the HIV Medical Association, and previously served as an advisor to both the World Health Organization and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS.
Originally from Maryland, Dr. Walensky received her Bachelor of Arts from Washington University in St. Louis, her Doctor of Medicine from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and her Masters in Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health.
Helene D. Gayle
President & CEO, The Chicago Community Trust
Helene D. Gayle, MD, MPH, has been president and CEO of The Chicago Community Trust, one of the nation’s oldest and largest community foundations, since October 2017.
For almost a decade, Dr. Gayle was president and CEO of CARE, a leading international humanitarian organization. An expert on global development, humanitarian, and health issues, she spent 20 years with the Centers for Disease Control, working primarily on HIV/AIDS. She worked at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, directing programs on HIV/AIDS and other global health issues.
Dr. Gayle serves on public company and nonprofit boards, including The Coca-Cola Company, Organon, Palo Alto Networks, Brookings Institution, Center for Strategic and International Studies, New America, ONE Campaign, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, and Economic Club of Chicago. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Council on Foreign Relations, American Public Health Association, National Academy of Medicine, National Medical Association, and American Academy of Pediatrics.
She was awarded the Chicago Mayor’s Medal of Honor for her work on COVID relief and recovery for the city. Named one of Forbes’ “100 Most Powerful Women” and one of NonProfit Times’ “Power and Influence Top 50,” she has authored numerous articles on global and domestic public health issues, poverty alleviation, gender equality, and social justice.
Dr. Gayle was born and raised in Buffalo, NY. She earned a BA in psychology at Barnard College, an MD at the University of Pennsylvania and an MPH at Johns Hopkins University. She has received 18 honorary degrees and holds faculty appointments at the University of Washington and Emory University.
Founding Director, Vaccine Confidence Project
Prof. Heidi J. Larson is an anthropologist and Director of The Vaccine Confidence Project™ (VCP); Professor of Anthropology, Risk and Decision Science, Dept. Infectious Disease Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine; Clinical Professor, Institute of Health Metrics & Evaluation, University of Washington; and Chatham House Centre on Global Health Security Fellow. Dr. Larson previously headed Global Immunisation Communication at UNICEF, chaired GAVI’s Advocacy Task Force, and served on the WHO SAGE Working Group on vaccine hesitancy. The VCP is a WHO Centre of Excellence on addressing Vaccine Hesitancy.
Prof. Larson’s research focuses on the analysis of social and political factors that can affect uptake of health interventions and influence policies. Her particular interest is on risk and rumour management from clinical trials to delivery – and building public trust. She served on the FDA Medical Countermeasure (MCM) Emergency Communication Expert Working Group, and is Principle Investigator of the EU-funded (EBODAC) project on the deployment, acceptance and compliance of an Ebola vaccine trial in Sierra Leone.
Prof. Larson has recently joined the Centre for the Evaluation of Vaccination (CEV) (University of Antwerp) as associate professor, as the CEV at the Antwerp University will host the European regional Office of the Vaccine Confidence Project as of May 15, 2019, and will closely collaborate with Vaccine Confidence Project partners at European level on implementing the Vaccine Confidence Index™ and developing and evaluating interventions to address vaccine hesitancy.
Director, Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC)
Dr John Nkengasong currently serves as the first Director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC). He is a leading virologist with nearly 30 years of work experience in public health. Prior to his appointment with Africa CDC, he was the Deputy Principal Director (acting) of the Centre for Global Health at the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, and Associate Director of Laboratory Science and Chief of the International Laboratory Branch at the Division of Global HIV/AIDS and TB.
Earlier in his career (1993 to 1995), Dr Nkengasong worked as Chief of Virology Laboratory at the Collaborating Centre on HIV Diagnostics at the Department of Microbiology, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium and later joined US CDC in 1994 as Chief of the Virology Laboratory in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.
The Director was appointed as one of the WHO Director-General’s Special Envoys on COVID-19 Preparedness and Response.
He received a Masters in Tropical Biomedical Science at the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium, and a Doctorate in Medical Sciences (Virology) from the University of Brussels, Belgium.
Dr Nkengasong has received numerous awards for his work including Sheppard Award, the William Watson Medal of Excellence, the highest recognition awarded by CDC. In September 2020, he was honored with the 2020 Goalkeepers Global Goalkeeper Award. He is also recipient of the Knight of Honour Medal by the Government of Cote d’Ivoire, was knighted in 2017 as the Officer of Loin by the President of Senegal, H.E. Macky Sall, and Knighted in November 2018 by the government of Cameroon for his significant contributions to public health. He is an adjunct Professor at the Emory School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA.
He serves on several international advisory boards including the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Initiative – CEPI, the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) among others. He has authored over 250 peer-review articles in international journals and published several book chapters.
Carlos del Rio
Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine, Professor of Global Health and Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health
Carlos del Rio, MD is a Distinguished Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Emory University School of Medicine and Executive Associate Dean for Emory at Grady. He is also Professor of Global Health in the Department of Global Health and Professor of Epidemiology at the Rollins School of Public Health. He is also co-Director of the Emory Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) and co-PI of the Emory-CDC HIV Clinical Trials Unit and the Emory Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Unit.
Dr. del Rio is a native of Mexico where he attended medical school at Universidad La Salle, graduating in 1983. He did his Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases residencies at Emory University. In 1989 he returned to Mexico where he was Executive Director of the National AIDS Council of Mexico (CONASIDA, the Federal agency of the Mexican Government responsible for AIDS Policy throughout Mexico), from 1992 through 1996.
In November of 1996 he returned to Emory where he has been involved in patient care, teaching and research. Dr. del Rio was Chief of the Emory Medical Service at Grady Memorial Hospital from 2001 - 2009 and Chair of the Department of Global Health from 2009 - 2019.
Dr. del Rio’s research focuses on the early diagnosis, access to care, engagement in care, compliance with antiretrovirals and the prevention of HIV infection. He has worked for over a decade with hard-to-reach populations including substance users to improve outcomes of those infected with HIV and to prevent infection with those at risk. He is also interested in the translation of research findings into practice and policy.
His international work includes collaborations in the country of Georgia, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Mexico, Kenya and Thailand. He has also worked on emerging infections such as pandemic influenza and was a member of the WHO Influenza A(H1N1) Clinical Advisory Group and of the CDC Influenza A(H1N1) Task Force during the 2009 pandemic.
Dr. del Rio is a Member of the Board of Directors of the International Antiviral Society-USA (IAS-USA) and was a Board member and Chair of HIVMA of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA). He is a also the Chair of the PEPFAR Scientific Advisory Board.
He is Chief Section Editor for HIV/AIDS for NEJM Journal Watch Infectious Diseases, Associate Editor for Clinical Infectious Diseases and member of the editorial board of Journal of AIDS and Global Public Health. Dr. del Rio has co-authored 30 book chapters and over 350 scientific papers.
Among his many honors are the James H. Nakano Citation received in 2001 and awarded by the CDC for an outstanding scientific paper published in 2000; the Emory University Marion V. Creekmore Achievement Award for Internationalization; he was selected by the “Atlanta Magazine” as one of the 55 most influential foreign born Atlantans in 2007. In 2013 Dr. del Rio was elected to the National Academy of Medicine and in 2020 was elected as Foreign Secretary of the National Academy of Medicine.
June 3, 2021
What are the Essential Reforms, and How to Achieve Them?
Gayle E. Smith
Coordinator for Global COVID Response and Health Security, U.S. Department of State.
Gayle Elizabeth Smith is the coordinator of the global COVID response and health security at the U.S. Department of State. Smith was formerly the president and CEO of the One Campaign and was the former Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Ms. Smith served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Development and Democracy at the National Security Council (NSC), where she helped manage the U.S. Government's responses to more than 15 major humanitarian crises and worked to strengthen democratic institutions around the world.
Ms. Smith was previously a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, Co-Founder of the ENOUGH Project, and Co-Founder of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network. During the Clinton Administration, she served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs at the NSC, and as Senior Advisor to the Administrator and Chief of Staff of USAID.
Prior to her U.S. Government service, she worked as a journalist in Africa for over 20 years, where she covered military, economic, and political affairs for the BBC, Associated Press, Reuters, Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, Toronto Globe & Mail, London Observer, and Financial Times. She won the World Journalism Award from the World Affairs Council and the World Hunger Year Award in 1991, and in 1999 she won the National Security Council’s Samuel Nelson Drew Award for Distinguished Contribution in Pursuit of Global Peace.
Ms. Smith is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and has served on the boards of Oxfam America, the Africa America Institute, ASSET, USA for Africa, and the National Security Network. She has also consulted for a range of NGOs, foundations, and governmental organizations including UNICEF, the World Bank, Dutch Interchurch Aid, Norwegian Church Relief, and the Canadian Council for International Cooperation.
She also served on the policy and advisory boards of DATA, the Acumen Fund, and the Global Fairness Initiative, and was the Working Group Chair on Global Poverty for the Clinton Global Initiative from 2005 to 2007.
She received a B.A. from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
J. Stephen Morrison
Senior Vice President and Director, Global Health Policy Center, CSIS
J. Stephen Morrison is senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and director of its Global Health Policy Center. Dr. Morrison writes widely, has directed several high-level commissions, and is a frequent commentator on U.S. foreign policy, global health, Africa, and foreign assistance. He served in the Clinton administration, as committee staff in the House of Representatives, and taught for 12 years at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Wisconsin and is a magna cum laude graduate of Yale College.
Thomas J. Bollyky
Senior Fellow for Global Health, Economics, and Development and Director of the Global Health Program, Council on Foreign Relation (CFR)
Thomas J. Bollyky is director of the global health program and senior fellow for global health, economics, and development at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). He is also an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University. Bollyky is the author of the book Plagues and the Paradox of Progress: Why the World is Getting Healthier in Worrisome Ways and the founder and managing editor of Think Global Health, an online magazine that examines the ways health shapes economies, societies, and everyday lives around the world.
Bollyky’s work has appeared in general interest publications such as the New York Times, Washington Post, and the Atlantic as well as scholarly journals such as Foreign Affairs, Science, the Lancet, the New England Journal of Medicine, and the Journal of the American Medical Association. Bollyky has testified multiple times before the U.S. Senate and served on three expert committees at the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine and as the co-chair of its workshop on globalization and international regulatory harmonization. He directed the first two CFR-sponsored Independent Task Forces devoted to global health: Improving Pandemic Preparedness: Lessons from COVID-19 (2020) and The Emerging Global Health Crisis: Noncommunicable Diseases in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (2014). Bollyky has been a consultant to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and a temporary legal advisor to the World Health Organization. In 2013, the World Economic Forum named Bollyky as one of its global leaders under forty. Library Journal listed his book Plagues and the Paradox of Progress as one of the top ten selling health and medicine books in 2018.
Prior to coming to CFR, Bollyky served in a variety of positions in the U.S. government, most recently at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR). He led the negotiations on medical technology regulation in the U.S.-Republic of Korea Free Trade Agreement and represented USTR in the negotiations with China on the safety of food and drug imports. Bollyky was a Fulbright scholar to South Africa, where he worked as a staff attorney at the AIDS Law Project, and an attorney at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, where he represented clients before the International Court of Justice and the U.S. Supreme Court. Bollyky is a former law clerk to Chief Judge Edward R. Korman and was a health policy analyst at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Bollyky received his BA in biology and history at Columbia University and his JD at Stanford Law School, where he was the president of the Stanford Law & Policy Review. He is a member of the New York and U.S. Supreme Court bars.
Georgetown University, adjunct professor of law
National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, Committee on Mutual Recognition Agreements and Reliance in the Regulation of Medicines, member
Senior Fellow, Economics Program, CSIS
Stephanie Segal is senior fellow of the CSIS Economics Program, where her research interests include economic competitiveness, U.S.-China economic relations, and the role of international financial institutions in the global economy. Until 2017, Ms. Segal served as codirector of the East Asia Office at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Prior to Treasury, she was senior economist at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), where she covered a range of emerging market and advanced country economies.
Earlier in her career, Ms. Segal served as an economist in the Western Hemisphere, South and Southeast Asia, and International Monetary Policy offices at Treasury; as an adviser to the U.S. director at the IMF; and as an analyst and associate in mergers & acquisitions at J.P. Morgan in New York. She earned her master's degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.