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Biography of Dr Julian Lob-Levyt, GAVI Executive Secretary

Dr. Julian Lob-Levyt, who recently took over from Dr Tore Godal as Executive Secretary of the Geneva-based Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), brings a wealth of experience to the Alliance—both from his work at the international health policy level and from his extensive work in developing countries.

Until recently, Dr Lob-Levyt, a UK national, worked for UNAIDS as Senior Policy Adviser to the Executive Director, Peter Piot. Prior to that appointment, Dr Lob-Levyt was the Chief Health and Population Adviser (latterly Chief Human Development and Health Adviser) at the UK Department for International Development (DFID), with overall policy responsibility for health, population and HIV.

Dr Lob-Levyt, is no stranger to GAVI as he has represented the UK Government and donor constituencies as a member of the GAVI Board. He also represented the UK as a founding board member of the Global Fund to Fight TB, AIDS, and Malaria and has been involved in the provision of bi-lateral support to a range of public-private health initiatives such as the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) and the International Microbicides Partnership, as well as WHO programmes including Roll Back Malaria, STOP TB, and the lymphatic filariasis and guinea worm programmes. He was also closely involved in the work of the WHO Commission on Macroeconomics and Health, which reported in December 2001. More recently, he has worked with the UK Treasury and other donor governments on the development of new innovative financing instruments—the International Finance Facility (IFF)—aimed at increasing international development assistance to meet the Millennium Development Goals.

Dr Lob-Levyt has worked in Africa, where he was the Zimbabwe-based Regional Health Adviser for the European Commission (EC). He has also worked for WHO in Cambodia, where he led a large multi-disciplinary international team working with the Ministries of Health and Finance to support a major health sector reform programme funded by DFID, NORAD, UNDP, and WHO. The lessons learned from this successful programme— which involved the decentralization of health services and the establishment of a public-private mix of service providers—were included in the World Bank’s World Development Report 2004.

During the 1980s, Dr Lob-Levyt worked in Asia and the Pacific for the former UK Overseas Development Agency (ODA). He was Chief Medical Officer for the Solomon Islands, where he was involved in managing disease control programmes for TB, leprosy and malaria, as well as the development of mother and child health and family planning programmes. He was also involved in the development of the island state’s first national health information system. Dr Lob-Levyt later worked for ODA as Health and Population Adviser in Bangladesh, where he helped establish a highly successful health and family planning programme. During his time as a lecturer at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the Maternal and Child Epidemiology unit, he has also worked as a consultant in Eastern Europe, Turkey and Mauritius.

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The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) is a coalition of global leaders in immunization including UN organizations, national governments, foundations, NGOs, and the pharmaceutical industry, formed in response to stagnating global immunization rates and widening disparities in vaccine access among industrialized and developing countries. Since 1999 the alliance has provided a mechanism for partners to collaborate more closely, agree upon common goals and strategies, and share a commitment to do more for immunization – and to do it better.


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