New York: Indian-origin global health expert Anil Soni has been appointed as the first Chief Executive Officer of the newly launched The WHO Foundation, which works alongside the World Health Organization to address most pressing health challenges across the world.
Soni will assume his role as The WHO Foundation’s inaugural Chief Executive Officer on January 1 next year. In his new role, Soni will accelerate the Foundation’s “work to invest in innovative, evidence-based initiatives that support WHO in delivering on its mission to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all,” the Foundation said in a press statement on Monday.
The WHO Foundation, an independent grant-making agency headquartered in Geneva, was launched in May 2020 to work alongside the World Health Organization (WHO) and the global health community to address the world’s most pressing global health challenges.
Soni joins the Foundation from Viatris, a global healthcare company, where he served as Head of Global Infectious Diseases.
WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus described Soni as a “proven innovator” in global health who has spent two decades in service of communities affected by HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases.
“He earned my trust when he and his team at the Clinton Health Access Initiative worked side-by-side with the Ministry of Health in Ethiopia to expand access to treatment and strengthen the management of our health centers,” Ghebreyesus said, adding that Soni has a “unique” set of skills that spans the public and private sectors, and his leadership of the Foundation will provide invaluable support to the mission of the WHO and the billions of people who depend on it.
Founder and Chairman of the Board of the WHO Foundation Professor Thomas Zeltner said Soni is a “dynamic leader” with deep experience across all aspects of global public health.
“From his work at Viatris where he has led the development and introduction of medicines to treat HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, to his leadership of the Clinton Health Access Initiative, and his time at the Global Fund (to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria), he has demonstrated his ability to work across public, private, and nonprofit sectors and build successful new organizations from the ground up,” Zeltner said.