Executive Board

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

André van der Zande

President of IANPHI
Former Director General of the Netherlands' National Institute for Public Health & the Environment (RIVM)

André van der Zande is the former director-general of the Dutch National Institute for Public Health & the Environment (RIVM). He was elected president of IANPHI in November 2018 after serving as vice president of the member organization focused on creating, strengthening and transforming public health institutes around the world. 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.

andre van der zande

Meerjady Flora

Vice President of IANPHI
Director General of Bangladesh's Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control & Research (IEDCR) & National Influenza Center (NIC) 

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

Meerjady Flora

Mauricio Hernández-Avila

Immediate Past President of IANPHI
Former Director of Mexico's National Institute of Public Health

Mauricio Hernández-Ávila earned his medical degree from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in 1980 and completed his residency in pathology at the Salvador Zubiran National Institute of Health Sciences and Nutrition (INNSZ) in 1982. Additionally, he studied applied statistics at the Applied Mathematics and Systems Research Institute (UNAM, 1984), and earned a master’s degree (1984) and a doctoral degree (1988), both in science in epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health.

In 1981, he launched his professional career at the Mexican Ministry of Health as an attending physician in the Department of Community Nutrition at the INNSZ. During his doctoral training from 1987-1988, he was invited to serve as epidemiologist in the Department of Medicine at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.

After completing his postgraduate studies in 1988, Dr. Hernández-Avila served as director of the Center for Epidemiological Surveillance of Chronic Illnesses and Accidents at the Mexican Ministry of Health until 1991, at which time he was appointed director of the Center for Public Health Research of the National Institute of Public Health, INSP. In 1997, he was invited to work as visiting professor at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health until to 1999 when he returned as director of the Center for Population Health Research of the INSP.

By 2004, he was selected to serve as director general of the INSP, a position that he held until December 2006 at which time he was appointed undersecretary of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion of the Mexican Ministry of Health by President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa.

A recognized leader in national and international research, Dr. Hernández-Avila has been a level III member of the National Research System since 1990. His international awards, including the German Michael in the area of health in 2006, and the Alumni Merit Award from the Harvard School of Public Health in 2005.  He is author or coauthor of more than 215 published scientific articles, six books, and 45 book chapters on priority global health matters ranging from environmental health, cancer epidemiology, and evaluation of national public programs and public health policies.

During Dr. Hernández-Avila’s first administration as director general of the INSP (2004-2006), he undertook the comprehensive initiative to improve training in public health and other academic programs offered by the INSP, which resulted in the accreditation of the INSP by the Council on Education for Public Health, in addition to the institution becoming the first member of the Association of Schools of Public Health from outside the U.S. He coordinated an international group in charge of the evaluation of programs such as “Seguro Popular” and “Oportunidades (Progresa).” These programs are the principal poverty-reduction strategies implemented by the Mexican government, benefiting over five million families, and generating key information for decision-makers, as well as the continued improvement of these programs.

Dr. Hernández-Avila has been a member of the Mexican National Academy of Medicine since 1993, and sits on the Committee of Biomedical Sciences of the National Advisory Board of Science and Technology (CONACyT). He has mentored and trained numerous master and doctoral students and been invited to more than 186 national and international scientific events.

Mauricio Hernández-Avila

Ebba Abate

Director of the Ethiopian Public Health Institute

Dr. Ebba Abate is a member NPHI director and an IANPHI executive board member. He leads the Ethiopian Public Health Institute. He was appointed to the IANPHI's Executive Board in October 2017.


Ebba Abate

Abdullah Algwizani

Chief Executive Officer of the Saudi Arabia Centers for Disease Control

Dr. Abdullah Algwizani joined the Saudi Center for Disease Prevention and Control from its inception as the founding chief executive in 2018. Reporting to His Excellency, 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

Tsogtbaatar Byambaa

Director of Mongolia's National Center for Public Health

Dr. Tsogtbaatar Byambaa is a member NPHI director and an IANPHI executive board member. He leads the National Center for Public Health in Mongolia. He is also the vice president and founding member of the IANPHI Asia regional network. Dr. Byambaa was elected to IANPHI's Executive Board in October 2017.

Tsogtbaatar Byambaa

George Fu Gao

Director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Professor George F. Gao is a member NPHI director and an IANPHI executive board member. He 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

Akhmetov Valikhan Isaevich

Director of Kazakhstan's National Centre for Public Healthcare

Akhmetov Valikhan Isaevich graduated with honors from the Almaty State Medical University named after S.D. Asfendiyarov, specializing in "Medicine". In 1998, he graduated from Kemerovo State University with a degree in Economics and Management, and was an economist. He began his career as a nurse, then as an average medical worker and a doctor at the Central Clinical Hospital in Almaty.

He worked as a leading specialist, head of department of the Center for payment for medical services, director of the National Center for Analysis and Assessment of the quality of medical services in Almaty. In 2003-2004, he was a member of the Board of Directors of the National Center for Analysis and Evaluation of the Quality of Medical Services in Almaty and head of sector at the Center for Systemic Research in the Economic Policy Department of the Presidential Administration, deputy director of the Department of Social Spending Planning in the Ministry of Economy and Budget Planning of the Republic of Kazakhstan. 

In 2006-2008, he was appointed as chairman of the Committee on Control over the Provision of Medical Services of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan. He was also a leading researcher at the Institute of Healthcare Development of the Ministry of Health, advisor to the president of the National Innovation Fund, vice-president of JSC "Social Innovative Technologies". From 2008 to 2011, he was vice-rector for Research and Clinical Work, Planning and Development of S.D. Asfendiyarov KazNMU. From 2011 to 2013, he was rector of the Almaty State Institute of Advanced Medical Education, director of State Enterprise "Republican Center for Healthcare Development", chairman of the Board of Directors of Eye Diseases Research Institute JSC, and chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Eurasian Healthcare Association. In 2015, he was appointed as Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Eurasian Healthcare Association. - Head of the Almaty branch of the Training and Clinical Center. From 2016 to 2017, he was head of the Healthcare Department of Almaty.

Since 2017 he has been an advisor to the Minister of Health on public health and on the organization of the 40th anniversary of the WHO Declaration on PSMP, professor of Management Department at the Cabinet of Ministers of Higher School of Education, and head of the National Center for Public Health


Akhmetov Valikhan Isaevich

Martha Lucia Ospina

Director of Colombia's National Institute of Health

Dr. Martha Lucia Ospina, from Cali, took office as director of the National Institute of Health (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 the 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, the 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.

The challenge of the new director will be to project the INS into its second century. This means, among other things, to make it a governing body, capable of generating networks and better management in research in the country.

Martha Lucia Ospina

Mohamed Rhajaoui

Director of Morocco's National Institute of Hygiene

Mohamed Rhajaoui is a member NPHI director and an IANPHI executive board member. He joined IANPHI's leadership during the 2018 IANPHI Annual Meeting in London, England. Rhajaoui is the Director of the National Institute of Hygiene in Morocco.

Mohamed Rhajaoui

Juan Rivera

Director of Mexico's National Institute of Public Health

Juan Rivera Dommarco is a member NPHI director and a IANPHI Executive Board member. He is the newly appointed director of Mexico's National Institutes of Public Health, where he has been 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

Duncan Selbie

Chief Executive of Public Health England

Duncan Selbie was appointed chief executive designate of Public Health England (PHE) in July 2012 and as permanent chief executive on 1 April 2013, when PHE was officially established. PHE is an operationally autonomous executive government agency of the UK Department of Health, with scientific and technical expertise in different disciplines of public health.

Duncan led the creation of PHE which brought together over 5000 public health specialists from more than 70 organisations into a single functioning public health service. As chief executive, Duncan leads the agency and is accountable for its strategy and operations, and the effective and efficient use of public funds. 

From 2007 to 2012 Duncan was chief executive of Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals, the regional acute teaching hospital for the south east of England. Prior to this he was the appointed the UK Department of Health’s first director general of commissioning (2006 to 2007) which followed three years service as the director general of Programmes and Performance for the NHS (2003 to 2007). Duncan has previously held the post of chief executive at the South East London Strategic Health Authority (2002 to 2003) as well at South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust (1997 to 2002). He joined the National Health Service in 1980. 


Chair of the NHS Prevention Board 
Chair of the North East of England’s commission for health and social care integration 
Chair of the AMR Programme Board 
Member of CommonHealth Committee, a Commonwealth Secretariat health initiative 
Honorary professor at the Robert Gordon University 
Vice president of the College of Medicine, London 
Companion of the Institute of Healthcare Management

Duncan Selbie

Camilla Stoltenberg

Director General of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health

Camilla Stoltenberg is a medical doctor with a PhD in epidemiology. She was appointed director general of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) in 2012. NIPH is the public national expert and knowledge provider in infectious disease prevention, environmental medicine, mental health, epidemiology, non-communicable diseases, global health and forensic medicine. From 2002 to 2007, she served as director of the Division of Epidemiology, and from 2007 to 2012 as deputy director general of the NIPH with particular responsibility for strategic development of national health registries, cohorts, and biobanks.

Stoltenberg is a member of the WHO Technical Steering Committee for MNCA (Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health), the EAT advisory board, the Reference Group for the Palestinian National Institute of Public Health, and the Scientific Oversight Group at the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington. Previous appointments include research evaluation committees at the Wellcome Trust, and several evaluation/funding and advisory committees in England/UK, France, Germany, Sweden and Denmark.  

Her current scientific work focuses on neurodevelopmental disorders. In addition, she is involved in research on perinatal and genetic epidemiology, health in immigrant populations, and social inequality in health. Academically, she is an adjunct professor at the Department of Global Health and Primary Care, University of Bergen, and holds an honorary doctorate at the University of Copenhagen.

Camilla Stoltenberg

Lothar H. Wieler

President of Robert Koch Institute

Dr. Lothar H. Wieler is the president of the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin, the National Public Health Institute in Germany. He was elected to serve on IANPHI's Executive Board in October 2017.

A veterinarian by training, Lothar Wieler has focused his research on zoonotic diseases, 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 Lothar 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, Lothar 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 adaption to different habitats. The insights generated from this work can be used to develop new interventions to target pathogenic bacteria.

Lothar Wieler is 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, Lothar Wieler also heads the IRMRESS and Niobium networks. IRMRESS researches innovative strategies to fight multi-drug-resistant bacteria and aims to use next-generation sequencing techniques to establish a molecular surveillance system. Niobium identifies factors that change the microbiome, resistome and mycobiome of premature babies.

Lothar Wieler is also a member of 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 is also an elected member of the German National Academy of Sciences.

Lothar H. Wieler

Igbal Abukarig
Public Health Institute, Sudan 

Paulo Buss 
Oswaldo Cruz Foundation/FIOCRUZ 
Former President

Reinhard Burger
Robert Koch Institute, Germany

David Butler-Jones 
Public Health Agency, Canada

Cesar Cabezas
National Institute of Health, Peru

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

Rajae El Aouad 
National Institute of Hygiene, Morocco 
Former Director

Naima El Mdaghri 
Institut Pasteur du Maroc
Director General  

Mohammed Hassar 
Institute Pasteur du Maroc 
Former Director

Mauricio Hernández-Avila
IANPHI Immediate Past President 
National Institute of Public Health, Mexico former Director

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

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

Justin McCracken 
Health Protection Agency, United Kingdom 
Former Chief Executive

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 
Director, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control 

Geir Stene-Larsen 
Norwegian Institute of Public Health 
Director General

Gregory Taylor 
Public Health Agency of Canada 
Chief Public Health Officer

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

Yu Wang
Centers for Disease Control, China

Jane Wilde 
Institute of Public Health in Ireland 
Former Chief Executive