Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Ethiopia
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was elected WHO Director-General for a five-year term by WHO Member States at the Seventieth World Health Assembly in May 2017. In doing so, he was the first WHO Director-General elected from among multiple candidates by the World Health Assembly, and was the first person from the WHO African Region to head the world’s leading public health agency.
Born in the Eritrean city of Asmara, Dr Tedros graduated from the University of Asmara with a Bachelor of Biology, before earning a Master of Science (MSc) in Immunology of Infectious Diseases from the University of London, a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Community Health from the University of Nottingham and an Honorary Fellowship from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Following his studies, Dr Tedros returned to Ethiopia to support the delivery of health services, first working as a field-level malariologist, before heading a regional health service and later serving in Ethiopia’s federal government for over a decade as Minister of Health and Minister of Foreign Affairs.
As Minister of Health from 2005 to 2012, he led a comprehensive reform of the country’s health system, built on the foundation of universal health coverage and provision of services to all people, even in the most remote areas.
Under his leadership, Ethiopia expanded its health infrastructure, developed innovative health financing mechanisms, and expanded its health workforce. A major component of reforms he drove was the creation of a primary health care extension programme that deployed 40 000 female health workers throughout the country. A significant result was an approximate 60% reduction in child and maternal mortality compared to 2000 levels.
As Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2012 to 2016, he elevated health as a political issue nationally, regionally and globally. 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.
Prior to his election as Director-General of WHO, Dr Tedros held many leadership positions in global health, including as Chair of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, Chair of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, and Co-chair of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Board.
After taking office as WHO Director-General on 1 July 2017, Dr Tedros initiated the most significant transformation in the Organization’s history, which has generated a wide range of achievements.
Adeeba Kamarulzaman, Malaysia
Prof Adeeba Kamarulzaman of Malaysia became the first Asian President of IAS – the International AIDS Society – on 11 July 2020 when she began her two–year term. Prof Kamarulzaman is the Director of the Center of Excellence for Research in AIDS at the University of Malaya, which she set up in 2008. She also serves as an Adjunct Associate Professor at Yale University, USA, and chairs the Malaysian AIDS Foundation, a trust that raises funds for HIV- related programmes. As convener of the Malaysian Harm Reduction Working Group of the Malaysian AIDS Council, she successfully advocated for the implementation of harm reduction measures to tackle HIV among people who inject drugs in Malaysia. She was the President of the Malaysian AIDS Council from 2006 to 2010. In 2015, she was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws by her alma mater, Monash University, Australia, for her contributions to medicine and as a health advocate.
Chancellor Angela Merkel, Germany
Angela Merkel was born in Hamburg on 17 July 1954, but spent most of her childhood in Templin, in Brandenburg, East Germany. After reading physics at Leipzig University (1973 1978), she conducted research into quantum chemistry at the Central Institute of Physical Chemistry at the Academy of Sciences in Berlin. She obtained her doctorate in 1986 with a thesis on calculating the velocity constants for simple hydrocarbon reactions.
In late 1989, Angela Merkel joined “Demokratischer Aufbruch” (Democratic New Beginning). She soon became their Press Spokeswoman and then, following the first free elections to the People’s Chamber of the then GDR on 18 March 1990, she was appointed Deputy Government Spokeswoman for Lothar de Maizière’s Government. She has been a member of the CDU (Christian Democratic Union of Germany) since August 1990, and a member of the German Bundestag, for the constituency of Stralsund, North Western Pomerania and Rügen, since December 1990. From 1991 to 1994 she served as Federal Minister for Women and Youth, subsequently becoming Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, a position she held until 1998.
From December 1991 until her election as General Secretary of the CDU on 7 November 1998, she held the post of Deputy Chairwoman of the CDU in Germany. She was simultaneously Chairwoman of the Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania CDU from May 1993 to May 2000. She has been Chairwoman of the CDU in Germany from April 2000 to December 2018. She also served as Chairwoman of the CDU/CSU Parliamentary Group in the German Bundestag from September 2002 until she was first elected as Chancellor in November 2005.
Since her third re election as Federal Chancellor on 14 March 2018, Angela Merkel has led a government of the CDU/CSU (Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union) in coalition with the SPD (Social Democratic Party of Germany).
Hendrik Streeck, Germany
Professor Hendrik Streeck is the Director of the Institute of Virology and Professor of HIV Research at the University of Bonn, Germany. He completed his medical training in Berlin in 2006 and received his PhD from Friedrich-Wilhelm University in Bonn in 2007. After completing his postdoctoral fellowship at the Partners AIDS Research Center, he was Assistant Professor at the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard and assistant immunologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital. In 2012, he was recruited as the Chief of the Cellular Immunology Section of the U.S. Military HIV Research Program and adjunct Assistant Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. In March 2015, he took the chair of the Institute for HIV Research, but remains visiting scientist at the Military HIV Research Program on HIV vaccine and cure research. Currently, he leads the largest systematic study to understand the feasibility of conducting a Phase 3 HIV vaccine trial in Europe and to understand the epidemic of sexually transmitted infections. As a result of the study, the European HIV & STI prevention network was established in January 2019.
Anthony S. Fauci, United States
Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., is director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the U.S. National Institutes of Health, where he oversees an extensive research portfolio devoted to preventing, diagnosing, and treating infectious and immune-mediated diseases. Dr. Fauci has been a key advisor to six Presidents and their administrations on global AIDS issues, and on initiatives to bolster medical and public health preparedness against emerging infectious disease threats such as pandemic influenza. As an HIV/AIDS researcher he has been involved in the scientific effort since AIDS was recognized in 1981, conducting pivotal studies that underpin the current understanding of the disease and efforts to develop therapies and tools of prevention. Dr. Fauci was one of the principal architects of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which has helped save millions of lives throughout the developing world.
Dr. Fauci is the long-time chief of the NIAID Laboratory of Immunoregulation. He has made many contributions to basic and clinical research on the pathogenesis and treatment of immune-mediated and infectious diseases. He helped pioneer the field of human immunoregulation by making important basic scientific observations that underpin the current understanding of the regulation of the human immune response. In addition, Dr. Fauci is widely recognized for delineating the precise mechanisms whereby immunosuppressive agents modulate the human immune response. He developed effective therapies for formerly fatal inflammatory and immune-mediated diseases such as polyarteritis nodosa, granulomatosis with polyangiitis (formerly Wegener’s granulomatosis), and lymphomatoid granulomatosis.
Dr. Fauci has made seminal contributions to the understanding of how HIV destroys the body’s defenses leading to its susceptibility to deadly infections. Further, he has been instrumental in developing highly effective strategies for the therapy of patients living with HIV/AIDS, as well as for a vaccine to prevent HIV infection. He continues to devote much of his research time to identifying the nature of the immunopathogenic mechanisms of HIV infection and the scope of the body’s immune responses to HIV.
Dr. Fauci is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences and the US National Academy of Medicine, and is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards for his scientific and global health accomplishments, including the National Medal of Science, the Robert Koch Medal, the Mary Woodard Lasker Award for Public Service, the Prince Mahidol Prize, The Gairdner Canada Award for Global Health, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He has been awarded 45 honorary doctoral degrees and is the author, coauthor, or editor of more than 1,300 scientific publications, including several major textbooks
Danny Douek, United States
Dr Douek is a tenured senior investigator and the Chief of the Human Immunology Section, Vaccine Research Center, NIAID, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, USA. He studied medicine at the Universities of Oxford and London and practised internal medicine before pursuing a PhD in immunology at the University of London. He was appointed to the NIH Vaccine Research Center in November 2000.
His laboratory, the Human Immunology Section, studies the processes that determine the course of human diseases in which the immune system, particularly its T-cell arm, plays a central role in their pathogenesis and outcome. He aims to use the knowledge gained to initiate clinical studies of new therapeutic and vaccine approaches.
Dr Douek is widely published in the field of human immunology, having made significant discoveries in thymic function, immune repertoire diversity, T-cell mediated immunity, mucosal immunology, innate immunity and hematopoietic progenitor cell transplantation. He has published more than 300 papers, has an h-index of 100 and is among the 1% most cited scientists in their field. Currently, the main focus of his lab is the pathogenesis of HIV infection, the role of the microbiome in modulating systemic inflammation, and host genetic factors that predispose to or protect from infectious disease.
He sits on numerous scientific advisory boards and journal editorial boards. Dr Douek received the World AIDS Day Award in 2007 and the NIH Director’s Award in 2008. Scientific American recognized him as one of the world’s top 50 scientists in 2005 and he was placed among the 2012 POZ 100 for his significant contributions to accelerating the end of AIDS.
Renzo Guinto, Philippines
Renzo Guinto, MD, DrPH, is one of the staunchest voices for the new field of planetary health. Renzo is the Chief Planetary Doctor of PH Lab, a “glo-cal think-and-do tank” for advancing the health of both people and the planet. He is also Associate Professor of the Practice of Global Public Health and Inaugural Director of the Planetary and Global Health Program of the St. Luke’s Medical Center College of Medicine in the Philippines.
Renzo is an Obama Foundation Asia-Pacific Leader, Aspen Institute New Voices Fellow and Climate Reality Leader (under the initiative of former US Vice President Al Gore). He is a member of several high-level groups, including: Lancet–Chatham House Commission on Improving Population Health post COVID-19 (University of Cambridge); Lancet One Health Commission (University of Oslo); Advisory Council of Global Health 50/50 (University College London); Advisory Board of Climate Cares (Imperial College London); Editorial Advisory Board of The Lancet Planetary Health; and Forum on Climate Change and Health of the World Innovation Summit for Health (Qatar Foundation). He has served as consultant for various organizations, including: World Health Organization; World Bank; USAID; International Organization for Migration; Health Care Without Harm; Philippine Department of Health; Chilean Ministry of Health; and Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium.
Renzo obtained his Doctor of Public Health from Harvard University and Doctor of Medicine from the University of the Philippines Manila. In 2020, Tatler Magazine included him in its Gen.T List of 400 leaders of tomorrow who are shaping Asia’s future. He has lectured in nearly 50 countries and published more than 100 articles in scientific journals, books and popular media; he has also directed and produced short films that communicate the message of planetary healing.
Jennifer Hoy, Australia
Professor Jenny Hoy is an infectious diseases physician and Professor Director of HIV Medicine at Alfred Health and Monash University. She graduated from Monash University and trained in infectious diseases at Fairfield Infectious Diseases in Melbourne, Australia. She led the HIV clinical research effort at Fairfield Hospital, participating in the evaluation of new antiretrovirals and new approaches to opportunistic infection prevention and management. The HIV service moved from Fairfield Hospital to Alfred Hospital in 1996 when Fairfield Hospital closed. Over the next 25 years, Professor Hoy has remained involved in care of people living with HIV and research, particularly research to aid the understanding of the pathogenesis, prevention and management of co-morbidities associated with ageing and HIV. She is actively engaged in HIV education for undergraduate, infectious diseases trainees and general practitioners. She has published widely, with over 300 publications, monographs and book chapters. She was a member of the Australian Antiretroviral Guidelines Panel for 22 years before joining the IAS-USA Antiretroviral Guidelines panel in 2012. Professor Hoy is passionate about ensuring quality of care for people with HIV and quality of life experienced by people with HIV.
Lynn Morris, South Africa
Lynn Morris is a scientist who heads the HIV Virology section at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) in Johannesburg, South Africa. She holds a joint appointment at the University of the Witwatersrand, where she is Research Professor and Director of the Antibody Immunity Research Unit. Over the past 20 years, she has made significant contributions to understanding the antibody response to HIV. With collaborators from Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Vaccine Research Centre, she discovered the CAP256-VRC26.25 monoclonal antibody that is undergoing clinical testing. Her laboratory is responsible for conducting neutralizing antibody assays for HIV clinical trials, including the Antibody Mediated Prevention (AMP) trial, providing the proof of principle that VRC01 can prevent HIV infection. Lynn has been recognized through several awards. She has published over 270 papers, holds a current author H-Index of 61 and has featured in the Web of Science list of most highly cited researchers in 2015-2019.
Phelister Abdalla, Kenya
Phelister Abdalla is the National Coordinator of the Kenya Sex Workers Alliance. She is a co-founder of the African Sex Workers Alliance (ASWA) and a pioneer of sex workers’ movements in Africa. She is on the front line of creating awareness and advocating for the rights of sex workers at national, regional and global levels; this includes lobbying and advocating for policy reform and leading the process of decriminalization of sex work in Kenya. She is known for her articulation in addressing critical issues, such as stigma and discrimination, violence faced by sex workers, empowerment of the community of sex workers, inclusion of the sex workers’ agenda across the country and Africa, and meaningfully involving communities in all aspects of programming and implementation.
Stephane Wen-Wei Ku
Dr Stephane Wen-Wei Ku completed his medical degree at National Taiwan University in 2008 and specialist training in internal medicine and infectious diseases at Taipei Veterans General Hospital in 2013. He is currently working as the Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Taipei City Hospital Renai Branch and clinical researcher with the TREAT Asia Network at Taipei Veterans General Hospital. Dr Ku’s research interests include HIV and sexually transmitted infections, chemsex and sexual well-being of the LGBT community. He has been actively involved in PrEP implementation in Taiwan. Dr Ku serves as a council member of the Taiwan AIDS Society and Chairman of HIV Education And Research Taiwan.
Deb Williamson, Australia
Professor Deborah Williamson is a clinical and public health microbiologist, Professor and Director of Microbiology at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and the Doherty Institute, Deputy Director of the Microbiological Diagnostic Unit Public Health Laboratory, and a laboratory head in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Melbourne. She is an NHMRC Investigator Grant recipient, received a L’Oreal-UNESCO Women in Science Fellowship in 2017, and was awarded the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases Frank Fenner Award in 2020.
Laura Waters, United Kingdom
Laura Waters is a GU/HIV consultant and HIV lead at The Mortimer Market Centre, London. She is chair of the British HIV Association (BHIVA) and of its treatment guidelines, and she serves on the British Association of Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) Board. Previously, Laura was the secretary of BHIVA and chair of its conferences sub-committee, chair of the BASHH HIV Special Interest Group, and co-author of several national guidelines. Laura represents BHIVA on the HIV Clinical Reference Group, advising National Health Service England on HIV treatment and care. She has published widely, writes a regular column for Boyz magazine and is a Terrence Higgins Trust trustee. She teaches regularly at local, regional and national level, including on HIV and sexual health to medical students and in HIV courses at University College London and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
Winnie Byanyima, UNAIDS
Winnie Byanyima is the Executive Director of UNAIDS and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations. A passionate and longstanding champion of social justice and gender equality, Ms. Byanyima leads the United Nations efforts to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030. Ms. Byanyima believes that health care is a human right and has been an early champion of a People’s Vaccine against the coronavirus that is available and free of charge to everyone, everywhere.
Before joining UNAIDS, Ms. Byanyima served as the Executive Director of Oxfam International, a confederation of 20 civil society organisations working in more than 90 countries worldwide, empowering people to create a future that is secure, just, and free from poverty.
Ms. Byanyima was elected for three terms and served eleven years in the Parliament of her country, Uganda. She led Uganda’s first parliamentary women’s caucus, championing ground-breaking gender equality provisions in the county’s 1995 post-conflict constitution.
Ms. Byanyima led the establishment of the African Union Commission’s Directorate of Gender and Development and also served as Director of Gender and Development at UNDP. She founded the Forum for Women in Democracy (FOWODE), an influential Ugandan NGO, and has been deeply involved in building global and African coalitions on social justice issues. A global leader on inequality, Ms. Byanyima has co-chaired the World Economic Forum and served on the World Bank’s Advisory Council on Gender and Development, ILO’s Global Commission on the Future of Work and the Global Commission on Adaptation.
Susan Cole is an award-winning HIV activist, broadcaster, writer and public speaker, advocating for people living with HIV for two decades. She leads the community engagement and broadcasting activities for the HIV information charity NAM aidsmap, producing and hosting the live broadcast series aidsmapLIVE for a global audience of people living with HIV. She has previously worked for a number of NGOs including the UK Coalition of People Living with HIV, the National AIDS Trust and has serves as a Trustee of the Children’s HIV Association and the Women’s HIV charity, the Sophia Forum.
She is particularly passionate about issues affecting women and people of colour living with HIV, writing and presenting about the health inequities they face. She is a member of the Global HIV Collaborative, 4M Network of Mentor Mothers and serves as a community representative of the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV (BASHH) HIV Special Interest Group.
Sunny Hostin, United States
Emmy Award-winning journalist, New York Times bestselling author, and co-host, ABC’s The View
Sunny Hostin is an American lawyer, journalist, and television host. Hostin is co-host on ABC’s morning talk show The View as well as the Senior Legal Correspondent and Analyst for ABC News. She is also a Champion of the United States national initiative focused on the modernization of criminal laws and penalties for people living with HIV, led by the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF).
Eckart von Hirschhausen
Dr Eckart von Hirschhausen studied medicine and science journalism in Berlin, London and Heidelberg. His speciality: conveying medical content in a humourous way and combining it with messages of sustainability. For more than 25 years, he has been a moderator, speaker and motivator on stages, podiums and television. His books (including Die Leber wächst mit ihren Aufgaben, Glück kommt selten allein, Wunder wirken Wunder) have sold more than 5 million copies. His latest book, Mensch, Erde! Wir könnten es so schön haben, was published in May 2021. He is chief reporter for the magazine, Hirschhausen STERN Gesund leben, and hosts the ARD knowledge shows, Frag doch mal die Maus and Hirschhausens Quiz des Menschen, and documentary series, Hirschhausens Check-up.
He is an ambassador and advisory board member for, among others, the Deutsche Krebshilfe≪, the DFL Stiftung, Phineo and the Fit-for-Future-Foundation. With his first foundation, HUMOR HILFT HEILEN, he promotes the humane in medicine, for example with workshops for nursing professionals.
He is committed to the Global Health goal of the Agenda 2030 (BMZ) and biological biodiversity (BMU). He co-founded Scientists for Future and supports the German Alliance Climate Change and Health (KLUG). In 2020, he established his second foundation, Gesunde Erde – Gesunde Menschen (Healthy Earth – Healthy People).