Muhammad Ali Pate, a Nigerian professor of public health, has become the chief executive officer of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI).
GAVI is a global health alliance of international organisations, countries and billionaire charities, which has vaccinated “almost half of the world’s children” since its inception in 2000.
Allies of GAVI include the World Health Organisation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and vaccine manufacturers around the world.
Pate is the co-chair of the Future of Health and Economic Resilience in Africa (FHERA) and Julio Frenk Professor of public health leadership at Harvard Chan School of Public Health.
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“I’m deeply honoured to be joining Gavi as its incoming CEO. Gavi is one of the most impactful organisations in global health, a testament to the great work of the Alliance partners and Secretariat staff,” Pate said while accepting his appointment.
“It will be my privilege to lead it, building on the work of Dr Seth Berkley, and continue to support countries to scale up critical routine immunisation programmes, reach more zero-dose children, expand access to new vaccines, transform primary health care systems, and help fight outbreaks and future pandemics.”
Pate succeeds Seth Berkley, whose tenure ends on August 2.
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“Dr Berkley will continue to serve as CEO until 2 August 2023, while working with incoming CEO Dr Pate to ensure a smooth transition,” Gavi stated on Monday.
“Pate, who was selected following a yearlong recruitment process personally overseen by the Chair of the Gavi Board, Professor José Manuel Barroso, will bring a wealth of experience to the role. A medical doctor trained in both internal medicine and infectious diseases, with an MBA from Duke University in the United States, Dr Pate served as Nigeria’s Minister of State for Health between 2011 and 2013. In this role, he led a flagship initiative to revive routine vaccinations and primary health care, chaired a presidential taskforce to eradicate polio and introduced new vaccines into the country.
“While serving as Global Director for Health, Nutrition and Population of the World Bank and Director of the Global Financing Facility at the World Bank between 2019 and 2021, he led the Bank’s $18 billion COVID-19 global health response and represented the Bank on various boards, including those of Gavi, the Global Fund, CEPI and UNAIDS.”
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