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.
Mr Soni will assume his role as The WHO Foundation’s inaugural Chief Executive Officer on January 1 next year.
Mr Soni joins the Foundation from Viatris, a global healthcare company, where he served as Head of Global Infectious Diseases. On his appointment, Mr Soni said the world is at a “critical juncture” for global public health. “After months of combatting the COVID-19 pandemic, there is hope for several successful vaccine candidates. Beyond this crucial step, the path to recovery necessitates expanded investment in the many health priorities that have been compromised in recent months – from drops in vaccine coverage and HIV treatment to delays in cancer treatment,” he said.
Mr Soni was closely involved in the early years of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, serving as the Advisor to the Executive Director from 2002-2004 and then as the Founding Executive Director of Friends of the Global Fight from 2004-2005. He served as the CEO of the Clinton Health Access Initiative, where he worked from 2005-2010, and oversaw the rapid expansion of the organisation. He has been a senior advisor to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the MDG Health Alliance. He is an alumnus of McKinsey and Harvard College and serves on the board of The Marshall Project.