Meet the Team
Please note that more information on Plenary Speakers for the World NCD Congress 2020 will be announced soon.
Ishwar V Basavaraddi, MSc, MA, PhD
Director, Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga
Chen Chien-jen, Sc.D, MPH
Vice President of Taiwan (Republic of China)
Arun Chockalingam MS, PhD, FACC, FAHA
Epidemiology, University of Toronto
Professor Vivek Jha, MD
President, International Society of Nephrology
The George Institute for Global Health, India
Professor Amy M. Kilbourne, PhD, MPH
Psychiatry, University of Michigan
Dr. Lems Kwape
Minister of Health, Botswana
Professor Ali Mokdad, PhD
Chief Strategy Officer of Population Health, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation
Associate Chair for Collaboration, University of Washington
Professor Pekka Puska, MD, PhD, MPolSc
Councillor, WHO Agency for Cancer Research
Member, Finnish Parliament
University of Helsinki, University of Eastern Finland
Sally Perreault Darney, PhD
Editor-in-chief of Environmental Health Perspectives
Aziz Sheikh, OBE, FRSE, FMedSci
Chair of Primary Care Research and Development
Usher Institute, College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, University of Edinburgh
Professor Vic Strecher, PhD, MPH
Public Health; Entrepreneur, Health Media, Kumanu
University of Michigan
Dr. Lia Tadesse
Acting Minister of Health
Tadataka Yamada, MD, KBE
Executive Vice-president, Chief Medical and Scientific Officer, Board Member
Professor Vivekanand Jha is the Executive Director at The George Institute for Global Health, India, and a James Martin Fellow at The George Institute for Global Health, University of Oxford, and the President of the International Society of Nephrology. Vivek did his Internal Medicine and Nephrology training at PGIMER (Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research) in Chandigarh, India, joined its faculty and was the Professor of Nephrology. He set up a basic science research lab including the Stem Cell Research Facility and was Head of the Department of Translational and Regenerative Medicine and Officer-In-Charge, Medical Education and Research Cell. Prof Jha is recognized as a global expert on kidney disease, and focuses on emerging public health threats globally and in India. He currently leads research projects operating in more than 20 countries. He is particularly interested in using multi-disciplinary approaches and innovations to address the system level health and economic challenge posed to humanity by non-communicable diseases. He enjoys teaching and mentoring young colleagues. He has published over 280 peer reviewed papers, many in the most prestigious journal in the world and over 40 book chapters. He is frequently invited to lecture at major international conferences. He has held leadership positions in many organizations, is a member of Task Forces and Scientific Advisory Committees of the Department of Science and Technology of Govt of India, an Advisor to the WHO, has been on Editorial Boards of major journals and has been Section Editor of The Oxford Textbook of Clinical Nephrology.
Victor J. Strecher, PhD, MPH is a professor at the University of Michigan’s Schools of Public Health and Medicine. An innovative teacher and researcher, in 1995 he founded the UM Center for Health Communications Research, studying the future of digitally-tailored health communications when fewer than 15% of Americans had Internet access. He’s also an entrepreneur, founding HealthMedia, a digital health coaching company that was sold to Johnson & Johnson in 2010. More recently, Vic created Kumanu, a digital platform designed to help individuals and organizations live more purposefully.
Vic and the organizations he founded have won numerous national and international awards, including two Smithsonian Awards, the Health Evolution Partners Innovations in Healthcare Award, and the National Business Coalition on Health’s Mercury Award. In 2010, Vic won the University of Michigan’s Distinguished Innovator Award. In late 2017, Dr. Strecher was the Donald A. Dunstan Foundation’s “Thinker in Residence” in Adelaide, Australia to develop a “Purpose Economy” of business, government, and communities.
Vic’s latest neuroscience, behavioral, and epidemiologic research; his two books, Life On Purpose and the graphic novel On Purpose; and his business Kumanu, are focused on the importance of developing and maintaining a strong purpose in life.
Sally Perreault Darney (ORCID ID 0000-0002-0315-1774) has a PhD in reproductive biology (University of Hawaii) and postdoctoral training (Bloomberg School of Public Health, The Johns Hopkins University). After serving as the Reproductive Toxicology Division Director and National Program Director for the Human Health Research Program in EPA’s Office of Research and Development, she helped formulate new Programs in chemical safety and sustainable and healthy communities. In 2015 she became Editor-in-Chief of the high impact journal Environmental Health Perspectives published by NIEHS (NIH). Recently retired, she remains committed to the application of science to sustain healthy environments for all.
Professor Pekka Puska; MD, PhD, MPolSc; was the Director General of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL). Recently he served as second time as MP. He was, for 25 years, the Director of the North Karelia Project: CVD prevention in all Finland, a model for successful population based CVD and NCD prevention.He has served as Director for NCD Prevention and Health Promotion at the WHO/HQ, as President of the Int. Ass. of National Public Health Institutes, as President of World Heart Federation and as Chair of the Governing Council of the WHO/IARC. He has served twice as MP, and as Chancellor of Turku University. He has many international honors.
Dr. Lia Tadesse Gebremedhin is the State Minister of Health for the Ministry of Health of Ethiopia since November 2018 leading the national health programs under the Health Sector Transformation Strategy. With over 20 years of experience, Dr. Lia is a physician who specialized in Obstetrics and Gynaecology with extensive experience as a clinician, in executive leadership, healthcare administration, and hospital management. She has also successfully worked as a CEO and Vice Provost of St. Paul’s Hospital Millennium Medical College in Addis Ababa, leading the hospital’s services and academic reforms, including forging collaborative relationships with several national and international stakeholders.
She was the Project Director of USAID’s Maternal and Child Survival Program (MCSP) at Jhpiego-Ethiopia, and later worked as the Program Director at the University of Michigan’s Center for International Reproductive Health Training (CIRHT) in Ann Arbor, Michigan where she has successfully partnered with several institutions, both in Ethiopia and Rwanda, to increase the quality of reproductive health training and services successfully. Dr. Lia’s passion is strengthening and reforming health systems and has received recognitions for her accomplishments, advocacy, and championship. Dr. Lia earned her MD and later her Masters in Health Care Administration from Jimma University and did her residency in OBGYN at Addis Ababa University.
Dr. Kilbourne is Director of the VA Quality Enhancement Research Initiative and Professor of Learning Health Sciences at the University of Michigan. Dr. Kilbourne’s goal is to improve health outcomes through implementation science, i.e., the use of strategies to help providers scale up and spread effective practices in real-world treatment settings. She developed the Enhanced Replicating Effective Programs implementation strategy which improved uptake of effective practices across different treatment settings. She also developed the Life Goals Collaborative Care intervention which improved physical (e.g., cardiovascular risk) and mental health outcomes in persons with mood disorders across community-based and national health systems.
Ali H. Mokdad, PhD, is Professor of Health Metrics Sciences at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) and Chief Strategy Officer for Population Health at the University of Washington. Prior to IHME, Dr. Mokdad worked at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He has published groundbreaking research on local-level disease trends and leading risk factors for poor health. His work on obesity is among the most highly cited in the field.
Dr. Tadataka (Tachi) Yamada is a Venture Partner with Frazier Healthcare Partners. Dr. Yamada has served as President of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Global Health Program and is currently Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI). He was formerly head of Research and Development and a Member of the Board of Directors of both Takeda Pharmaceuticals and GlaxoSmithKline and before that he was Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine and Physician-in-Chief at the University of Michigan Medical Center.
Dr. Yamada holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Stanford University and obtained his M.D. from New York University School of Medicine. He has been elected to membership in the National Academy of Medicine (US), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Academy of Medical Sciences (UK) and the National Academy of Medicine (Mexico) and he has received an honorary appointment as Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (KBE). Dr. Yamada is a Past-President of the Association of American Physicians and of the American Gastroenterological Association and he has served as a member of the US President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.