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Uniting to Combat NTDs appoints Dr Winnie Mpanju-Shumbusho as Board Chair

28 February 2024


Dr Winnie Mpanju-Shumbusho headshot

Uniting to Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) are delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Winnie Mpanju-Shumbusho as the new Chair of the Board.

She succeeds Rebeca Grynspan who was in the position until July 2023, and remains an Ambassador for Uniting to Combat NTDs.

Dr Winnie Mpanju-Shumbusho is a global health leader whose merit, track record, and thought leadership are widely recognised. She served as the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Assistant Director General for HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria and NTDs until her retirement in 2016, leading WHO's work in prevention, control, impact-mitigation, country support, inter-country collaboration and global partnerships. She also played a key role in mobilizing political commitment, resources and action needed to combat HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria, NTDs; and building resilient health systems including in the founding, governance, and efficacy of the Global Fund.

Introducing our new Board Chair, Dr Winnie Mpanju-Shumbusho

Speaking on the appointment, Dr Winnie Mpanju-Shumbusho said:

“It’s an honour to be appointed as Chair of Uniting to Combat NTDs. It has been my long-held belief that we can change the course of over one billion people who continue to be held back by these preventable and treatable diseases, many of them on our African Continent. The opportunity to continue serving these individuals and communities was simply not something I could turn down. I am looking forward to working with Thoko and the team to help champion investment to ensure that our vision of a world where NTDs are no longer a threat to people’s lives becomes a reality. This is a really exciting time to be joining the organisation with a newly refreshed strategy focused on resource mobilisation and a busy year ahead to capitalise on opportunities for sustainable financing for NTDs.”

Thoko Elphick-Pooley, Executive Director of Uniting to Combat NTDs said:

“We are delighted to have Dr Winnie Mpanju-Shumbusho joining us as our new Board Chair. She is a deeply respected trailblazer in global health, with a wealth of experience from her previous leadership roles at the WHO Headquarters, key regional health institutions in Africa, her native country Tanzania, Global Health Partnerships, and other international organisations which will be invaluable as she leads us in our mission to end NTDs by 2030. Having Dr Winnie’s vision and drive at the forefront will be fundamental as we look to explore new partnerships and unlock sustainable financing to reach all who are still affected by NTDs, and I am excited for what is to come working with Winnie.”

In addition to her role as Chair of Uniting to Combat NTDs, Dr Winnie Mpanju-Shumbusho is Co-Chair of the Lancet Commission on Malaria Eradication; member of the Panel for a Global Public Health Convection; and Board member of the University of California in San Francisco Institute for Global Health Sciences, MEI. She is a former Board Chair of the RBM Partnership to End Malaria where she strengthened the partnership’s governance, management, resource mobilization, advocacy, communication and country support; former Board member of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, as well as sitting on various other Boards, and acting as a leadership mentor to various professionals globally.

Also joining Dr Winnie Mpanju-Shumbusho as a new member of the Uniting to Combat NTDs’ Board is Faustina Fynn-Nyame, Executive Director for Africa, Child Health and Development at Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF).

Introducing our new Board member, Faustina Fynn-Nyame

Faustina is a champion and advocate for women and girls’ rights, who believes in harnessing the potential of the girl child. She is passionate about growing leaders and was recognised and named in the top 100 influential African women in 2021.

On the appointment, Thoko Elphick-Pooley said:

“It is brilliant to have Faustina Fynn-Nyame joining the Uniting to Combat NTDs Board. Women and girls face a disproportionate burden from NTDs, so Faustina’s experience as well as her passion advocating for women and girls’ rights will be hugely beneficial as we fight to end these diseases. I am very much looking forward to working with her as we stand united to triumph over NTDs.”

View our Board members