Executive Board

The IANPHI Executive Board provides policy oversight for the organization. The 14-member board includes the president, vice president and immediate past president of IANPHI, as well as the directors of 11 member national public health institutes from around the world.

Board Members

Duncan Selbie

President, IANPHI
Former Chief Executive, Public Health England, United Kingdom

Prof. Duncan Selbie has been the president of IANPHI since December 2020. He was the founding chief executive of Public Health England (PHE) from 2013 to 2020. He has been an Executive Board member of IANPHI since 2016 and has also served as IANPHI Foundation Board trustee and IANPHI treasurer. 

Prior to 2013, he was chief executive of Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals, the regional teaching hospital for the south east of England. From 2003 to 2007, he was the director general of Programmes and Performance for the NHS, and subsequently its first director general of Commissioning. Prior to this, he was chief executive of South East London Strategic Health Authority, and before that, chief executive of the South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust.  

Other appointments include honorary professor at the Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen; honorary professor at Chester University; companion of the Institute of Healthcare Management; honorary fellow of the UK Faculty of Public Health; and chief adviser to the public health authority of Saudi Arabia.

Duncan Selbie

Meerjady Flora

Vice President, IANPHI
Former Director General, Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research and National Influenza Center, Bangladesh 

Dr. Meerjady Sabrina Flora, MBBS, MPH, PhD FAIMER fellow, is the vice president of IANPHI, as well as the former director of Bangladesh's Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), the country's focal point for conducting disease surveillance, outbreak investigation, and research training. In 2007, the institute was nominated as a National Influenza Centre (NIC) by the World Health Organization. 

Meerjady Flora

André van der Zande

Immediate Past President, IANPHI
Former Director General, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, The Netherlands

André van der Zande is the former director general of the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). He serves as president of IANPHI between 2018 and 2020, after serving as vice president of the organization. He studied biology at Leiden University and graduated with distinction in 1976. In 1984 he was awarded his Ph.D. from the same university on the subject of the field of tension between recreation and bird conservation.

From 1986 onwards he managed various large knowledge institutes in Wageningen, among them Alterra. He was a part-time professor of Spatial Planning and Cultural History under the Belvedère programme at Wageningen University (2005-2009).

In 2002 André Van der Zande made the changeover to the former Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (Ministerie van Landbouw, Natuur en Voedselkwaliteit, LNV). Until 2007 he was director-general at the LNV, and his responsibilities included agricultural policy, nature and biodiversity, manure policy and general environmental policy. In 2007 he became secretary-general there, until the merger of the LNV with the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.

André van der Zande

Martha Lucia Ospina

Director, Instituto Nacional de Salud, Colombia

Dr. Martha Lucia Ospina, from Cali, took office as director of Colombia's Instituto Nacional de Salud (INS) in May 2016. Dr. Ospina is the first woman to officially lead the institute in its 103-year history.

Alumnus of the Faculty of Medicine of the Universidad Javeriana, specializing in Public Health Management and holding a master’s degree in epidemiology at the University of Valle and in economics at the Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona (Spain), Martha Ospina has more than 20 years of experience in the health sector.

Before appointment to INS where she spent six months as acting director, she was acting deputy minister and national director of Epidemiology and Demography at the Ministry of Health, director of the High Cost Disease Account, and director of Planning and Promotion and Health Maintenance of Social Security in Valle del Cauca, among other positions.

Martha Ospina is now before an entity that was founded more than a century ago and has shown great adaptability. Created in January 1917, the INS is responsible for monitoring, both in the territories and in the laboratory, events likely to impact public health. In fact, the quality and transparency of information from its surveillance system have made it a key center for research in Zika worldwide.

Among other responsibilities INS includes research and analysis of information for the definition of policies by the ministry and the production of antivenoms–snakebites, anti-scorpion and antilonomia–which no longer arouse interest in the big pharmaceutical houses.

Martha Lucia Ospina

George Fu Gao

Director, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, China

Professor George F. Gao is the director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the professor and director in CAS Key Laboratory of Pathogenic Microbiology and Immunology, Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, vice-president of Beijing Institutes of Life Science, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and vice-president of the Chinese Society of Biotechnology.

Gao obtained his Ph.D (DPhil) degree from Oxford University, UK and did his postdoc work in both Oxford University and Harvard University (with a brief stay in Calgary University). His research interests include the molecular mechanism of interspecies transmission of pathogens, molecular virology and molecular immunology. His group research is now focusing on the influenza virus, Streptococcus suis and the molecular/structural basis of recognition of T cell receptors to peptide-MHC complexes.

He has published more than 500 refereed papers, 10 books or book chapters and has applied for 25 UK, US and Chinese patents.

George Fu Gao

Ebba Abate, PhD

Director, Ethiopian Public Health Institute, Ethiopia

Dr. Ebba Abate leads the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI) by appointment of the Prime Minister of Ethiopia. Together with his team he is working in restructuring EPHI with the aim the institute to play additional roles in the health system in Ethiopia. EPHI has a staff of more than 1,000, undertaking over 60 projects per year in different areas. In addition, the institute is responsible to coordinate and enhance the National Clinical Laboratory services and the Public Health Emergency activities in Ethiopia.

Dr. Abate is a biomedical researcher who has got his PhD degree in Medical Microbiology (Immunology stream) in June 2013 from Linkoping University, Sweden. He worked at the University of Gondar for close to 20 years and serving the University at different positions. His contribution for the launching of different MSc and PhD studies and also his role during the establishment of the Tropical and Infectious Diseases Research Center at the University of Gondar was significant. He served as the first director of this research center until he joined the Ethiopian Public Health Institute in February 2017.

Dr. Abate has produced more than 45 publications in peer-reviewed journals together with his colleagues. He presented his work in more than 40 local and international scientific forums. He recently won an international award from People to People based in the U.S. for his contribution and leadership in the COVID-19 response in Ethiopia. Dr. Abate won also the Tore-Godal prize given on yearly basis for three outstanding young researchers in Ethiopia for the pioneering work of genotyping and identifying the prevailing HPV types, the etiologic agents of cervical cancer, for the first time in Ethiopia and the Sudan. He received the prize from the then Minister of Health of Ethiopia and current director of WHO, Dr. Tedros Adhanom. In addition to this award, Dr. Abate has received different awards (Gold medal, best student award, best researcher award and certificates of recognitions) from the University of Gondar, Jimma University and the University of Khartoum, Sudan and others. He has got several research grants from WHO, EDCTP, Swedish Research counsel, Heart and Lung Foundation, University of Gondar, AHRI, SIDA/SAREC, etc.

Ebba Abate

Lothar H. Wieler

President, Robert Koch Institute, Germany

Prof. Lothar H. Wieler is the president of the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin, the national public health institute in Germany. 

His research focusses on zoonotic diseases in a One health concept, i.e. infections that are passed between animals and humans, and account for many of the newly (re-)emerging infectious diseases. A particular research interest of Prof. Wieler are the molecular mechanisms, which enable bacterial zoonotic pathogens such as e. coli and s. aureus to infect different hosts, and develop resistance to antibiotics. In his work, Wieler has used genome-based typing methods to identify zoonotic pathogens, which were subsequently analyzed in functional experiments in order to learn more about their evolution and adaptation to different habitats. The insights generated from this work can be used to develop new interventions to target pathogenic bacteria.

Wieler published more than 250 scientific publications and was awarded several scientific prices. He is co-founder of the German national research platform on zoonoses, and deputy spokesperson for the research consortium InfectControl 2020, which pursues intersectoral approaches to preventing and treating infections from a One Health perspective. Within InfectControl 2020, Wieler also heads the IRMRESS and Neobiom networks. IRMRESS researches innovative strategies to fight mult-drug resistant bacteria and aims to use next generation sequencing techniques to establish a molecular surveillance system. Neobiom identifies factors that change the microbiome, resistome and mykobiome of premature babies. Prof. Wieler is also a member of the Strategic and Technical Advisory Group for Infectious Hazards (STAG-IH) of the World Health Organisation, the scientific advisory board of the Global Research Collaboration for Infectious Disease Preparedness (GloPID-R) and the WHO Europe Advisory Committee on Health Research (EACHR). Since 2010, he has also been an elected member and senator of the German National Academy of Sciences. As an honorary professor with teaching responsibility, he continues to be associated with the Institute of Microbiology and Epizootics at the Department of Veterinary Medicine at Freie Universität Berlin.

Lothar H. Wieler

Juan Rivera

Immediate Past Director, Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública, Mexico

Juan Rivera Dommarco is the immediate past director of Mexico's Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública (INSP), where he has worked since 1993. There he founded the Center for Research in Nutrition and Health in 2001.

He is also professor of Nutrition in the School of Public Health of Mexico and adjunct professor at Emory University. Dr. Rivera has published more than 400 scientific articles, book chapters, and books, and made more than 500 presentations and conferences at scientific events. He is past recipient of the Kellogg International Nutrition Research Award from ASN, granted for active engagement in research to benefit populations in nonindustrialized countries, as demonstrated through publications in the scientific literature, and actively engaged in training new scientists for international nutrition research.

Juan Rivera

Theresa Tam

Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada

Dr. Theresa Tam was named Canada's chief public health officer on June 26, 2017. She is a paediatric infectious disease specialist with expertise in immunization, emergency preparedness and global health security. Dr. Tam obtained her medical degree from the University of Nottingham in the U.K. She completed her paediatric residency at the University of Alberta and her fellowship in paediatric infectious diseases at the University of British Columbia. She is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and has over 55 peer-reviewed journal publications in public health. She is also a graduate of the Canadian Field Epidemiology Program.

Dr. Tam has held several senior leadership positions at the Public Health Agency of Canada, including as the deputy chief public health officer and the assistant deputy minister for infectious disease prevention and control. During her 25 years in public health, she provided technical expertise and leadership on new initiatives to improve communicable disease surveillance, enhance immunization programs, strengthen health emergency management and laboratory biosafety and biosecurity. She has played a leadership role in Canada's response to public health emergencies including severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), pandemic influenza H1N1 and Ebola. Dr. Tam has served as an international expert on a number of World Health Organization committees and has participated in multiple international missions related to SARS, pandemic influenza and polio eradication.

Theresa Tam

Geneviève Chêne

Chief Executive, Santé publique France

Geneviève Chêne, MD, PhD, is the chief executive of Santé publique France, the French public health agency, and professor of public health. Previously, she served as director of the Bordeaux school of public health (ISPED, univ Bordeaux, 2017-19) and as the head of the department of public health at the Bordeaux university hospital (2011-19).

In the field of public policy, she contributed to the preparation of the 2013-2017 national health strategy as a member of the “comité des sages” nominated by the prime minister, then as director of the Inserm Institute of research in Public Health between 2014 and 2017. At the university of Bordeaux since 1999, Prof. Chêne has taught clinical epidemiology and public health at the school of medicine and at the Bordeaux school of public health where she initiated an international distant learning program (5000+ students since 2001).

As a researcher, she has established and led until 2015 an Inserm team on “HIV infections and associated morbidity”. Most cited works show how effects of antiretroviral therapy can be durable on the long term or contribute to the development of methodological innovations. Until 2019, she led EUCLID, a platform for international clinical trials that she created in 2014 within the FCRIN infrastructure. This platform is involved in many international vaccine trials for the prevention of Ebola, malaria or pneumococus. Since 2010, she is co-principal investigator of Memento, a national cohort of 2,323 participants, with either cognitive complaints or light cognitive deficits, enrolled in French memory clinics and characterized through a multidimensional assessment of their risk factors and brain health. Prof. Chêne is a member of the editorial advisory board of the Lancet Public Health and is member of the editorial board of the European Journal of Epidemiology.

Geneviève Chêne

Abdullah Algwizani

Chief Executive Officer, Saudi Public Health Authority, Saudi Arabia

Dr. Abdullah Algwizani joined the Saudi Public Health Authority from its inception as the founding chief executive in 2018. Reporting to the minister of Health, Dr. Algwizani is responsible for achieving the organization’s goal to protect and improve the health of the population in the kingdom. He is passionate about supporting the development of a nation that lives longer and healthier. He envisages the success of this mission as a joint endeavor across and beyond the healthcare system.

As a published researcher with a medical background in infectious diseases and as a practicing consultant, Dr. Algwizani has held many key positions. He was the director of Infection Prevention and Control at King Abdullah Specialist Children’s Hospital. In addition, he is part of several national and international memberships on a wide range of committees such as public health, dengue control, vaccines and biological medicine. 

He has also represented the country at international forums, including the World Health Assembly, Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) Steering Committee and is the Anti-Microbial Resistance Champion for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the G20.

Abdullah Algwizani

Aamer Ikram

Executive Director, National Institute of Health, Pakistan

Professor Aamer is the executive director of the National Institute of Health of Pakistan. He is chair of the Board of Directors of the International Federation of Biosafety Associations (IFBA), member of the Health Security Interface Group of the World Health Organization, and of the Executive Council of the International Society for Infectious Diseases. He is president of the Pakistan Biological Safety Association, and former president of the Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Society.

Ikram did his fellowship and PhD in Microbiology. He has a qualified diploma in Occupational Safety Health and Environments, a diploma in Disaster Management, a certificate in Emerging Infectious Diseases from the University of Iowa and in Dual-Use Biosecurity from Bradford University. He is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians by the Royal College of Edinburgh (FRCP), FRCPath by the Royal College of Pathologists of London, and Fellowship in Public Health from the Royal Colleges UK. He has special interest in mycobacteriology, biosafety and infection control. He published more than 300 papers, including books and chapters. He received the ‘Biosafety Heroes Award’ from IFBA.

Aamer Ikram

Sabin Nsanzimana

Director General, Rwanda Biomedical Center, Rwanda

Dr. Sabin Nsanzimana is the director general of the Rwanda Biomedical Centre. He has been working for the health sector for over 15 years with extensive experience in control of infectious diseases and research with more than 120 published scientific articles. 

He holds a medical degree (MD) and a Master's degree in Clinical Epidemiology from the National University of Rwanda; a PhD in Epidemiology from Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, University of Basel, Switzerland. 

Dr. Sabin serves as a fellow at the African Scientific Institute (ASI), a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (FRCP Edin) and serves as assistant professor of Global Health at the University of Global Health Equity (UGHE) and teaches Epidemiology and Research Methodology at the University of Rwanda.

Dr. Sabin Nsanzimana leads all technical aspects of the COVID-19 response in Rwanda and chairs the COVID-19 national task force Scientific Advisory Group.

Sabin Nsanzimana

Markku Tervahauta

Director General, Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare, Finland

Dr. Markku Tervahauta is a doctor of Medical Science, specialized in Public Health. He has a doctoral degree (PhD) in epidemiology from the University of Eastern Finland (former University of Kuopio). Dr. Tervahauta’s main working career has been in leadership positions in municipal and national public health organisations. 

Tervahauta has served as director general of the Department for Wellbeing and Services at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health since February 2018. Before that, he worked at the local government level as director of Health and Social Services, first in the City of Lahti since 2009 and then in the City of Kuopio since 2010. He worked as chief executive of the Municipality of Leppävirta from 2005 to 2009. 

Dr. Tervahauta started as a director general of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare in January 2019.  At the same time he joined the IANPHI network and participated in the IANPHI Annual Meeting in Addis Ababa Ethiopia in December 2019.

Strategic Advisers

Jean-Claude Desenclos

Strategic Adviser, IANPHI

Dr. Jean-Claude Desenclos is a public health epidemiologist. He was secretary general of IANPHI between 2016 and 2021. Until recently he was also deputy director for Scientific Affairs at Santé publique France, the French public health agency. He previously worked for Médecins Sans Frontières and Epicentre, an NGO dedicated to epidemiological studies in low-income countries created by MSF before joining the Epidemic Intelligence Service program of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 1988. He then joined the Réseau National de Santé Publique (French national public health network) in 1991, which then became the Institut de Veille Sanitaire (InVS). Dr. Desenclos was the head of the InVS Infectious Diseases Department before becoming scientific director of InVS and then Santé public France. Dr. Desenclos is currently an associate editor for the European Journal of Epidemiology, and a member of the COVID-19 scientific committee of the French Agency for Research on HIV, Hepatitis, Tuberculosis and Emerging Infection (ANRS-MIE).

Jean-Claude Desenclos

Quentin Sandifer

Strategic Adviser, IANPHI

Dr. Quentin Sandifer OBE was nominated in 2021 as strategic adviser to IANPHI by the IANPHI Executive Board. In this role, he supports the collaboration between the IANPHI Europe Regional Network and WHO Europe; the chair and vice chair of the Europe network, and to the IANPHI Executive Board and Secretariat. Between 2014 and 2020 he served as the executive lead representing Public Health Wales in IANPHI. In 2019 he became the first chair of the Europe network. In this role he focused on building a relationship with WHO Europe and contributed to the IANPHI COVID-19 Webinar Series. 

Dr. Sandifer served as executive director of Public Health Services and medical director of Public Health Wales between 2012 and 2020. After retiring in November 2020, he returned in 2021 as a consultant adviser on Pandemic and International Health. At Public Health Wales he led the directorate responsible for the provision of all national screening programs, health protection and microbiology services, and public health emergency planning and response for the population of Wales. In 2020, he served as the strategic director for Public Health Wales’ response to COVID-19.

Dr. Sandifer has practiced public health for almost 30 years and before that spent eight years working in hospital medicine and family practice in the UK and Canada. Besides his medical and public health degrees, he holds an executive MBA from Columbia University and London Business School.

Igbal Abukarig
Public Health Institute, Sudan 

Paulo Buss 
Oswaldo Cruz Foundation/FIOCRUZ, Brazil
Former President

Reinhard Burger
Robert Koch Institute, Germany
Former President

David Butler-Jones 
Public Health Agency, Canada
Fomer Director

Cesar Cabezas
National Institute of Health, Peru

L.S. Chauhan
National Centre for Disease Control, India

Rajae El Aouad 
Institut National d'Hygiène, Morocco 
Former Director

Naima El Mdaghri 
Institut Pasteur du Maroc
Director General  

Mohammed Hassar 
Institute Pasteur du Maroc, Morocco  
Former Director

Mauricio Hernández-Avila
IANPHI Past President 
Former Directo, National Institute of Public Health, Mexico 

Oni Idigbe 
Former Director General, Nigerian Institute of Medical Research 
Director of Research

Ilesh Jani
National Institute of Health, Mozambique
Director General

Amha Kebede 
Ethiopian Public Health Institute
Former Director

Jeffrey P. Koplan 
Senior Advisor, IANPHI 
Former Vice President for Global Health, Emory University

Justin McCracken 
Health Protection Agency, United Kingdom 
Former Chief Executive

Mwele Malecela 
First Female Vice-President of IANPHI
Former Director General, National Institute for Medical Research, Tanzania 

Tsehaynesh Messele 
Ethiopian Health and Nutrition Research Institute 
Former Director General

Pekka Puska
Former IANPHI President 
Former Director General, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Finland

Mahmudur Rahman 
Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research, Bangladesh

Amabelia Rodrigues 
National Institute of Public Health, Guinea Bissau 
Former President

Mario Henry Rodriguez 
National Institute of Public Health, Mexico 
Former General Director

Pathom Sawanpanyalert 
National Institute of Health 
Former Director General

Barry Schoub 
National Institute of Communicable Diseases, South Africa 
Former Executive Director

Marc Sprenger 
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, The Netherlands

Geir Stene-Larsen 
Norwegian Institute of Public Health 
Director General

Gregory Taylor 
Public Health Agency of Canada 
Chief Public Health Officer

Jaroslav Volf 
National Institute of Public Health, Czech Republic  
Former Director

Yu Wang
Chinese Centers for Disease Control
Former Director General

Jane Wilde 
Institute of Public Health in Ireland 
Former Chief Executive