Anil Soni appointed as 1st CEO of The WHO Foundation

Indian-origin health expert Anil Soni has been appointed the first CEO of the newly formed The WHO Foundation.

Anil Soni appointed as 1st CEO of The WHO Foundation f

Mr Soni is a “proven innovator” in global health.

Indian-origin global health expert Anil Soni has been appointed as the first Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the newly launched The WHO Foundation.

The initiative will work alongside the World Health Organisation to address most pressing health challenges across the world.

Anil Soni will assume his role as The WHO Foundation’s inaugural CEO on January 1, 2021.

In a press statement released on December 7, 2020, Mr Soni will accelerate the Foundation’s “work to invest in innovative, evidence-based initiatives that support WHO in delivering on its mission to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all”.

The WHO Foundation is an independent grant-making agency headquartered in Geneva and was launched in May 2020.

The organisation was formed to work alongside the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the global health community to address the world’s most pressing global health challenges.

Mr Soni joins the Foundation from Viatris, a global healthcare company, where he served as Head of Global Infectious Diseases.

WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Mr Soni is a “proven innovator” in global health.

Mr Soni has spent two decades in service of communities affected by HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases.

Dr Ghebreyesus added: “He earned my trust when he and his team at the Clinton Health Access Initiative worked side-by-side with the Ministry of Health in Ethiopia.

“They expanded access to treatment and strengthen the management of our health centres.”

Dr Ghebreyesus believes that Mr Soni’s leadership at the Foundation will provide invaluable support to the mission of the WHO and the billions of people who depend on it.

On his appointment, Mr Soni said the world is at a “critical juncture” for global public health.

He stated:

“After months of combatting the Covid-19 pandemic, there is hope for several successful vaccine candidates.”

“Beyond this crucial step, the path to recovery necessitates expanded investment in the many health priorities that have been compromised in recent months, from drops in vaccine coverage and HIV treatment to delays in cancer treatment.”

“The WHO Foundation represents a unique new opportunity for everyone in the world to play their part in tackling these challenges.

“As well as in promoting global health, through a strong and vibrant WHO.”

Dr Ghebreyesus added that The WHO Foundation represents a unique new opportunity for everyone in the world to play their part in tackling these challenges and in promoting global health, through a strong and vibrant WHO.

Professor Thomas Zeltner, Founder of The WHO Foundation, said that Mr Soni is a “dynamic leader”.

Akanksha is a media graduate, currently pursuing a postgraduate in Journalism. Her passions include current affairs and trends, TV and films, as well as travelling. Her life motto is 'Better an oops than a what if'.