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Current Members: International Task Force for Disease Eradication

Stephen B. Blount, M.D., M.P.H.

Chair, 2016-Present, member since 2009
Director of Special Health Programs
The Carter Center

Former Associate Director for Global Health Development, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, responsible for leading CDC’s collaborations with CARE to more closely link health programs to broader social and economic development efforts, particularly in Haiti, India, and Mozambique. Assigned to the World Health Organization (WHO) from 1993 to 1997, when he served as Director of the Caribbean Epidemiology Centre in Trinidad and Tobago.

J. Peter Figueroa, Ph.D.

2017—Present
Professor of Public Health
Epidemiology and HIV/AIDS
The University of the West Indies

Developed a doctorate program in public health at The University of the West Indies, Jamaica. He was formerly the Chief Medical Officer at the Ministry of Health and for many years the Chief Epidemiologist and Director of the National HIV/STI Program in Jamaica and a Scientific Secretary of the Caribbean Health Research Council. He has represented the Government of Jamaica on regional and international health-related agencies and conducted consultancies in the Caribbean, Africa and the Middle East. He has chaired the Caribbean Immunization Managers’ annual meeting since 1989 and served on the PAHO Technical Advisory Group for the Expanded Program of Immunization since 1990. He has been rapporteur of the WHO Advisory Committee on Polio Eradication since 2004. Between 2002 and 2005 he served on the independent review committee of GAVI. He is Chair of the UNAIDS HIV Prevention Reference Group and Deputy Chair of the Regional Coordinating Mechanism of the Pan Caribbean AIDS Partnership, PANCAP.

Donald R. Hopkins, M.D., M.P.H.

Chair, 2001-2016; Member 2001-Present
Special Advisor, Guinea Worm Eradication
The Carter Center

Participated in the Smallpox Eradication Program (Sierra Leone, India, Ethiopia); co-chaired the 1997 Dahlem Conference (Berlin); Project Director for the first International Task Force for Disease Eradication; former CDC Deputy Director.

Mr. Fernando Lavadenz M.

2019—Present
Health, Nutrition and Population
Senior Health Specialist
The World Bank

Dr. Mwelecele Malecela

2018—Present
Director
Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)
World Health Organization (WHO)

Former Director in the Office of the Regional Director, WHO Regional Office for Africa in Brazzaville, Congo; prior to joining WHO in April 2017, served as the Directo- General of the National Institute for Medical Research, United Republic of Tanzania – the first woman to occupy this post - and as founding Director of the Tanzania Lymphatic Filariasis Elimination Programmme; worked for 24 years at the National Institute for Medical Research in the field of lymphatic filariasis immuno-epidemiology and ran successful programmes for lymphatic filariasis patients.

David Molyneux, Ph.D., D.Sc., Hon.FRCP

2001-Present
Professor of Tropical Health Sciences
Department of Parasitology,
Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

Former Director of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (United Kingdom); member of the WHO Expert Panel on Parasitic Diseases; former President of the British Society of Parasitology and Royal Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene; member of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee of the World Bank/UNDP/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (NTD/STAG); member of the International Commission for the Certification of Dracunculiasis Eradication. Former Chair, Expert Advisory Committee, Onchocerciasis Control Programme; Executive Secretary, Global Alliance to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis (GAELF), 2006-2010.

Dr. Ana Morice

2019—Present
Independent Consultant

Dr. Stefan Swartling Peterson

2016—Present
Chief, Health Section and Associate Director, Programme Division
UNICEF

Professor of Global Health at Uppsala University and, prior to that, at the Global Health Division of Karolinska Institutet; Visiting Professor at Makerere University in Uganda. As a health systems researcher and medical doctor, he has done extensive field work in Tanzania and Uganda, and has worked with different ministries of health, organisations such as the World Health Organization (WHO), and implemented projects supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the European Union. He was also a co-founder of Medicins Sans Frontieres Sweden and the CCM Task Force Operations Research Group. He is a medical doctor with degrees in medicine, Public Health and a PHD in International Pediatrics.

David A. Ross, Sc.D.

2016-Present
President & CEO
The Task Force for Global Health

Provides strategic direction to The Task Force and oversees seven programs focused on neglected tropical diseases, vaccines, field epidemiology, and public health informatics. Dr. Ross assumed leadership of The Task Force on May 1, 2016, after 16 years as director of The Task Force’s Public Health Informatics Institute (PHII) and its predecessor All Kids Count. Prior to joining The Task Force, Dr. Ross was founding director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s first national initiative to improve the information infrastructure of public health in the United States.

Dean Sienko, M.D., M.S.

2016—Present
Vice President for Health Programs
The Carter Center

Former Associate Dean for Prevention and Public Health at the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, where he also was Acting Director of the Institute for Health Policy and Senior Adviser to the Provost; Retired as a Major General after a 33-year career with the U.S. Army and for two years was Commanding General of the U.S. Army Public Health Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland; served as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Medical Director/Medical Examiner with the Ingham County (Michigan) Health Department, and Interim Chief Medical Executive for the State of Michigan.

Nilanthi R. de Silva, M.D.

2016-Present
Dean
Faculty of Medicine
University of Kelaniya

Current Chair of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Strategic and Technical Advisory Group (STAG) for Neglected Tropical Diseases; Professor of Parasitology and Dean, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka; presides over WHO's Working Group on Access to Assured Quality, Essential Medicines for Neglected Tropical Diseases – position held since May 2009; formerly served on WHO’s Foodborne Diseases Epidemiology Reference Group (2007–2015) and on WHO's Expert Advisory Panel on Parasitic Diseases (2001–2006); research interests include the epidemiology, prevention and control of soil-transmitted helminthiases and lymphatic filariasis.

Laurence (Larry) Slutsker, M.D., M.P.H.

2013—Present
Director
Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases
PATH

Experience in HIV/AIDS and diarrheal diseases, conducted epidemiologic research on a broad range of topics, including malaria (with over 17 years with the Malaria Branch at CDC), causes of infant mortality in developing countries, and reproductive and general tropical public health. Former Director of the KEMRI/CDC Research Station in western Kenya (2001-2005), Chief of the Malaria Branch at CDC (2005-2010), and Associate Director for Science, CGH (2010-2012). He has held past or current senior advisory roles with WHO, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, NIH (NIAID and Fogarty International Center), Consortium of the Universities of Global Health, FDA, The Carter Center, Roll Back Malaria Partnership, and Malaria No More. He has authored or coauthored more than 200 scientific journal articles, book chapters, and other publications.

Jordan Tappero, M.D., M.P.H.

2018-Present
Senior Program Officer
Neglected Tropical Diseases
Global Health Program
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

A physician epidemiologist by training, he joined the foundation in January 2018 after completing a 25-year career with CDC. He has broad public health skills including: the conduct of randomized clinical trials; the implementation of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and NTD prevention, care and treatment programs; the introduction of new childhood vaccines; developing surveillance systems; and serving as CDC Incident Manager for complex humanitarian emergencies (Haiti post-earthquake cholera and West African Ebola epidemics). He has global health experience across four continents including 14 years residing overseas as a CDC Country Director in Botswana, Thailand, Uganda and Haiti. In 2017, he retired from the U.S. Public Health Service at the rank of Rear Admiral and Assistant Surgeon General. He holds three American Board Certifications and has co-authored over 260 peer-reviewed publications.

Ricardo Thompson, Ph.D.

2014-Present
Senior Researcher
National Institute of Health
Republic of Mozambique

Epidemiologist by training, currently serves as Director and Principal Investigator of Chókwè Health Research and Training Centre (CITSC), in Mozambique. Also Vice-Chair of the Regional Program Review Group (RPRG) for Neglected Tropical Diseases since 2014. Formerly Scientific Director of the National Institute of Health, Mozambique (2001-2008); and Chair of the RPRG for Lymphatic Filariasis in the African Region of the World Health Organization (2011-2014). His research interests includes the epidemiology of HIV/AIDS, malaria, lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, Human African Trypanosomiasis, and Toxoplasmosis.

Dyann Wirth, Ph.D., M.A.

2001-Present
Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases
Director of Harvard Malaria Initiative
Harvard School of Public Health

Former Chair of the WHO/UNDP/World Bank Tropical Disease Research Steering Committee on Drugs for Malaria; recipient of the Burroughs Wellcome Award in Molecular Parasitology; Immediate Past President of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene; present Chair of the Harvard’s Division of Biological Sciences.

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