Advisory Board

6.613Advisory Board

Dr. Julio Frenk, Chair

Dean of the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and former Minister of Health, Mexico

Dr. Frenk is an eminent authority on global health who served as the Minister of Health of Mexico from 2000-2006. He is perhaps best known for his work in introducing a program of comprehensive national health insurance, known as Seguro Popular, which expanded access to health care for tens of millions of previously uninsured Mexicans. Dr. Frenk was the founding director-general of the National Institute of Public Health in Mexico, one of the leading institutions of health education and research in the developing world.

Ms. Joy Phumaphi, Vice Chair

Former Minister of Health, Botswana

Ms. Phumaphi is a leader in human development and is currently Executive Secretary of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA).  Previously she was Vice President and Head of the Human Development Network at the World Bank. In 2003, Ms. Phumaphi joined the World Health Organization as the Assistant Director General for Family and Community Health Department, managing a staff of over 1100 globally. She sits on the Board of GAVI and has also served as a member of the United Nations Reference Group on Economics and a United Nations Commissioner on HIV/AIDS and Governance in Africa.

Prof. Dr. Recep Akdag

Former Minister of Health, Turkey

Prof. Dr. Akdag served as the Minister of Health for Turkey from 2002-2013.  He is a child health and disease specialist, and has been a professor in the Medical Faculty of Ataturk University since 1990.  During his tenure as the minister of health Dr. Akdag led the Health Transformation Program, a people-oriented approach to healthcare service delivery.  Major aspects of this health system reform include integration of public hospitals, increased patient access to services and pharmaceuticals, implementation of a Family Medicine system, improved national vaccination rates, improved quality and reach of Emergency Services, and establishment of a National Medical Rescue Team. Dr. Akdag is a founding member and board member of the Erzurum Branch of the National Pediatrics Association, a member of the Turkish Pediatric Hematology Association and a member of the Turkish Hematology Association.

Dr. Robert Blendon

Senior Associate Dean for Policy Translation and Leadership Development,
Richard L. Menschel Professor of Public Health and Professor of Health Policy and Political Analysis, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, United States

Dr. Robert J. Blendon is currently the Richard L. Menschel Professor and Senior Associate Dean for Policy Translation and Leadership Development at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He holds appointments as a Professor of Health Policy and Political Analysis at both the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.  In addition, he directs the Harvard Opinion Research Program, which focuses on better understanding of public knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about major social policy issues in the U.S. and other nations.  He currently co-directs the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation/Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health project on understanding Americans’ Health Agenda, including a joint series with National Public Radio. Previously, he co-directed a special polling series with the Washington Post and Kaiser Family Foundation, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.  Additionally, Dr. Blendon co-directed a special survey project for the Minneapolis Star Tribune on health care that received the National Press Club’s 1998 Award for Consumer Journalism.  He also co-directed a project for National Public Radio and the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation on American attitudes toward domestic policy.  The series was cited by the National Journal as setting a new standard for use of public opinion surveys in broadcast journalism.

Dr. Lincoln Chen

President, China Medical Board

Dr. Chen is President of the China Medical Board of Cambridge, Massachusetts, an independent foundation that seeks to advance health in China and Asia by strengthening medical education, research, and policies. From 2001-2006, Dr. Chen founded and directed the Global Equity Initiative of Harvard University’s Asia Center. Dr. Chen was also the Taro Takemi Professor of International Health and Director of the university-wide Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies and has served as Executive Vice-President of the Rockefeller Foundation. Dr. Chen is a member of the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the World Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Ms. Jamie Cooper

Chair, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (U.K.)

Ms. Cooper has more than 20 years experience in roles that have involved bringing private sector, government and non-profit leaders together to pursue innovative policy and programming around a broad array of economic and social issues. She served as CIFF’s President, CEO and then Chair for 10 years from the Foundation’s inception. Ms. Cooper has served on several boards in the international development sphere, including the United Nations Commissioner on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children, as a member of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Board of Dean Julio Frenk Advisors, and on the Business Leadership Council for Preventing Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV. She is also a Member of the Coutts UK Philanthropy Advisory Board and a Member of the Impetus Advisory Council. Her other experiences include working for CBS News (USA) and the Atlanta Project, an initiative of President Jimmy Carter. Ms. Cooper received a Bachelor of Arts from Smith College and a Masters in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Mdme. Luisa Dias Diogo

Former Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Mozambique

Mdme. Diogo was Prime Minister of Mozambique from 2004-2010, she was the country’s first female Prime Minister. Before becoming Prime Minister, she was Minister of Planning and Finance. Recently Diogo has focused on gender equality and women’s empowerment through a recently launched “Network of Women Ministers and Parliamentarians” (MUNIPA). The MUNIPA network aims to strengthen advocacy and lobbying activities so that policies and legislation are adopted favorable to gender equity and women’s empowerment. Diogo has urged African health ministers to offer reproductive and sexual health services free of charge throughout the continent. Diogo is a member of the Council of Women World Leaders and the Club de Madrid. She holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Maputo’s Eduardo Mondlane University and a master’s degree in financial economics from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.

Dr. Archon Fung

Acting Dean, Academic Dean, Harvard Kennedy School of Government, United States

Dr. Fung is the Academic Dean and Ford Foundation Professor of Democracy and Citizenship at the Harvard Kennedy School. His research explores policies, practices, and institutional designs that deepen the quality of democratic governance. He focuses upon public participation, deliberation, and transparency. He co-directs the Transparency Policy Project and leads democratic governance programs of the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Kennedy School. His books include Full Disclosure: The Perils and Promise of Transparency (Cambridge University Press, with Mary Graham and David Weil) and Empowered Participation: Reinventing Urban Democracy (Princeton University Press). He has authored five books, four edited collections, and over fifty articles appearing in professional journals. He received two S.B.s — in philosophy and physics — and his Ph.D. in political science from MIT.

Mr. Gabriel Jaramillo

Former General Manager, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Colombia

Gabriel Jaramillo was General Manager of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, where he implemented a broad transformation of the organization and its business model. With 36 years of experience in banking in Colombia, Mexico, Brazil and the U.S., he specialized in managing change in complex financial institutions, most recently including the Sovereign Bank (recently renamed Santander Bank) in Boston. During the Global Fund’s transformative months, Mr. Jaramillo made significant changes to strengthen grant management, improve efficiency and tighten financial supervision in The Global Fund. As a result, donors pledged an all-time record amount in recognition of the organization’s turnaround. Mr. Jaramillo also headed the Office of the Special Envoy for Malaria of the Secretary General of the UN. Mr. Jaramillo is currently a Menschel Senior Leadership Fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health for spring 2014.

Dame Tessa Jowell

Former Member of Parlaiment, former Public Health Minister, and Secretary of State for Culture and Olympics, United Kingdom

The Right Honorable Tessa Jowell has been a Member of the British Parliament since 1992.  She has served many roles in the British government including Minister of State in the Department of Health (1997-2001); Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (2001-2007); Minister for Women (2005-2006); Paymaster General (2007-2010); Minister for the Olympics (2005-2010); Minister for London (2009-2010); and Minister for the Cabinet Office (2009-2010). She was also Shadow Minister for the Olympics and Shadow Minister for London until 2012.Jowell was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2012 Birthday Honours for political and charitable services in particular the Olympics.  Notably, Jowell was in charge of London’s successful bid to host the 2012 Olympics. Most recently she was bestowed with the distinction of Honorary Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health by the Royal Colleges of Physicians of the United Kingdom.

Dr. Donald Kaberuka

Former President, African Development Bank and former Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Rwanda

Mr. Donald Kaberuka is currently serving his second five-year term as President of the African Development Bank Group. He was first elected in 2005, becoming the seventh president of the Bank Group since its establishment in 1963.Before joining the African Development Bank, Mr. Kaberuka had a distinguished career in banking, international trade and development and government service. A national of Rwanda, he was the country’s Minister of Finance and Economic Planning between 1997 and 2005. During this period, he oversaw Rwanda’s successful economic reconstruction after the end of the civil war there.

The Hon. Dr. Chrispus Kiyonga

Minister of Defence, former Minister of Finance, and former Minister of Health, Uganda

Dr. Kiyonga is a Member of Ugandan Parliament and has been the Minister of Defence since 2006. Prior to that, he held several cabinet posts including Minister of Finance (1986-92), Minister of Internal Affairs (1994-96), Minister of Health (1996-2001), and Minister Without Portfolio in the Office of the President from (2005-2006).  Dr. Kiyonga has also served as the Chairman of the Global Fund and as a consultant with the World Bank and the African Development Bank. Dr. Kiyonga attended Makerere University School of Medicine, and has an MHS in Population Dynamics from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Ms. K. Sujatha Rao

Former Secretary of Health and Family Welfare, India

Ms. Rao has over twenty years of experience in the health sector in India at the state and national level. Most recently, she served as the Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of India and led the launch of the first national program for non-communicable diseases.  Ms. Rao has represented India on Boards of the World Health Organization, Global Fund, and UNAIDS.  She is co-chair of the WHO’s Advisory Panel on Developing a Global Health Systems Research Strategy and a founding Board member of the Public Health Foundation of India.

The Hon. Memet Şimşek

Minister of Finance, Turkey

Mehmet Şimşek was appointed as the Minister of Finance of Turkey in May 2009, after serving two years as Minister of Economy. He was elected to the Parliament in July 2007 and June 2011, representing the Justice and Development Party (AK Party). He has formulated fiscal policy which has helped Turkey recover strongly from the global financial crisis. He has also undertaken far reaching reforms founding the Tax Audit Board, simplifying tax regulations, enhancing taxpayers’ rights, and reducing the shadow economy. Before entering politics, he worked for Merrill Lynch in London for seven years as an Economist and Strategist and later as Head of Fixed Income Strategy and Macro Economic Research for the emerging EMEA region. From 1998 to 2000, he was a Senior Economist and Bank Analyst at Deutsche-Bender Securities in Istanbul. Earlier in his career, he worked on Wall Street for UBS Securities in New York (1997) and as a Senior Economist at the US Embassy in Ankara (1993-97). Minister Şimşek holds a B.S. in Economics from Ankara University and worked as a research assistant in the University’s International Economics and Economic Development Department. He also studied in England after being awarded a Turkish State Scholarship. He holds an M.PHil in Finance and Investments from Exeter University. He is also a member of the Global Economic Symposium (GES) advisory board.

Mr. Timothy Thahane

Former Minister of Energy, Meteorology and Water Affairs, and Minister of Finance, Lesotho

Dr. Thahane served as the Executive Director of the Africa Group at the World Bank from 1976-1978.  He was Lesotho’s ambassador to the United States from 1978-1980 after which he became Vice President and Secretary to the World Bank and its Affiliates.  Dr. Thahane was Deputy Governor of the South African Reserve Bank from 1996-2001, and was appointed to the Lesotho Cabinet as Minister of Finance and Development Planning in 2002.  He held that position until 2012 when he was appointed Minister of Energy, Meteorology and Water Affairs.  Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. Johns awarded Dr. Thahane an LLD (Honoris Causa) in recognition of his contributions to finance in 1999.

Dr. Jeanette Vega

National Director, Fondo Nacional de Salud, Chile

Dr. Vega was recently appointed Director of FONASA, the National Health Fund of Chile, after having served as the Managing Director of the Rockefeller Foundation since 2012. She previously served as Director of the of the Center of Public Health Policy at the Universidad del Desarrollo in Chile. Before working for the Universidad del Dessarrollo de Chile, she was Vice Minister of health in Chile, leading the country’s 13-step agenda for equity in health. In 2003, Dr. Vega served as a Director at the World Health Organization in Geneva, where she led the equity in health agenda, looking at the social determinants of health and health systems. Dr. Vega started her career as a medical doctor in Chile specializing in Family Medicine. She has a master’s degree in Public health from the Universidad de Chile and a Ph.D. in Public Health from the University of Illinois at Chicago.