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Members: International Task Force for Disease Eradication

Current Task Force Members

Kashef Ijaz, M.D., M.P.H. (Chair, 2021-Present; Member since 2020)
Vice President for Health Programs
The Carter Center

Previously principal deputy director in the Division of Global Health Protection, Center for Global Health, at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; served as deputy director for science and programs in the Center for Global Health and chief of the Tuberculosis Field Services and Evaluation Branch in the National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention. He helped lead the CDC’s responses to the West Africa Ebola epidemic of 2014-16, the MERS-CoV outbreak of 2013-14, and the H1N1 pandemic of 2009; a public health physician by training, began his career as a medical epidemiologist at the Arkansas Department of Health, where he worked with marginalized rural populations at the state, local, and community levels, and has worked extensively in Asia, Africa, and across the developing world on malaria, tuberculosis, and other infectious diseases.

Dr. Gautam Biswas (2017—2018; 2022—Present)
Acting Director
Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)
World Health Organization (WHO)

Coordinator of the Preventive Chemotherapy and Transmission Control unit of WHO’s Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases; Team Leader for WHO’s Guinea worm disease eradication unit from 2008-2014; joined the WHO in 1999 as Medical Officer (lymphatic filariasis) and contributed to the development of the Programme Managers’ guidelines for implementing programmes to eliminate lymphatic filariasis and for its monitoring and assessment; previously worked at the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in the Indian Ministry of Health, Government of India since 1989; recognized for his services and contribution to the eradication of Guinea worm disease from India, with the last Guinea worm case being recorded in India in1996; former member of the Intervention Research Committee for lymphatic filariasis and onchocerciasis of the UNICEF//UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR).

Mr. Simon Bland (2022—Present)
Chief Executive Officer
Global Institute for Disease Elimination (GLIDE)

Over 35 years of international development experience straddling marine and natural resource management, development economics, and global health; was a volunteer with the Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) in Papua New Guinea and then joined the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, where he led country programs in Russia, Ukraine, Kenya, and Somalia; former Director of the UNAIDS New York Office; currently the vice-chair of the Board of the RBM Partnership to End Malaria and is a trustee of Malaria No More (UK); also a member of the Forum on Public Private Partnerships within the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine in Washington DC, and was the Chair of the Board of the Global Fund in 2011; was made a Commander of the British Empire in 2013 in the Queen’s Birthday Honors list for service to Global Health.

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.

Patrick Lammie, PhD. (2022—Present)
Neglected Tropical Diseases Support Center
The Task Force for Global Health

Provides technical guidance and strategic oversight for the Coalition for Operational Research on NTDs (COR-NTD;, an operational research portfolio managed by NTD-SC on behalf of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USAID and UKAid; former senior staff scientist in the Disease Elimination and Control Group in the Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) where his research was focused on lymphatic filariasis and integrated serosurveillance, and continues to support efforts to develop new tools and strategies to monitor and evaluate filariasis and other neglected tropical diseases; served on the World Health Organization’s NTD Monitoring and Evaluation Working Group, on the Regional Program Review Groups for PAHO, AFRO, SEARO and WPRO and is currently serving as chair of WHO’s NTD Diagnostic and Technical Advisory Group; also serves as the co-chair for the Strategic Technical Advisory Group on Disease Elimination for PAHO.

Dr. Fernando Lavadenz M. (2019—Present)
Senior Health Specialist
Health, Nutrition and Population
The World Bank

Held senior level government positions related to policy assessment, decision-making and corporative management, as Chief of Cabinet, (Vice Minister of Health eq.), General Manager of Health Sector Reform, General Director of Health, and Director of Public Health Insurances. Previously to join the World Bank, he worked with different international organizations, the IDB and World Health Organization (WHO) in Asia and America. Trained as a Medical Doctor, holds a title of Specialist in Clinical Oncology and Chemotherapy, a title of Specialist in Clinical Pharmacology, and a Diploma (Master) in Public Health, as well as a Certification in Hospitals Management. Trained as WHO/PAHO “Resident in International Health”, has received, additional and continuous training in management, health insurances, health financing, and research in health economics.

Ephrem T. Lemango, MD, MA (2021-Present)
Principal Advisor & Chief of Immunizations

Former Regional Immunization and Primary Health Care focal in the World Health Organization (WHO) - Regional Office for Africa; served as the Director of Maternal, Child Health and Nutrition programme of Ministry of Health, Ethiopia and the Executive Director for the International Institute for Primary Health Care in Ethiopia; previously served as an Assistant Professor of Health Management and Policy in Mekelle University, Ethiopia and worked at grassroot level as national and continental advocate for Youth Reproductive Health and Empowerment; was a member of the Regional Immunization Technical Advisory Group (RITAG) of World Health Organization- Regional Office for Africa and the Global Equity Reference Group for Immunization; has also been a visiting Scientist in Harvard School of Public Health researching on Primary Health Care and Community health systems.

Dr. Mwelecele Malecela (2018—2022 in memoriam)
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 Director-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.

Ana Morice Trejos, MD, MPH, MSc. (2019—Present)
Independent Consultant

Former Technical Director of the Costa Rican Institute for Research and Training in Health and Nutrition (INCIENSA) and Vice-Minister of Health in Costa Rica (2008-2011). International Consultant (PAHO: 2005-2008, 2011-2019; WHO:2016; CDC:2000-02) responsible to implement measles and rubella elimination strategies and develop the regional protocol to verify measles, rubella and Congenital Rubella Syndrome elimination in the Region of the Americas. International experience in designing tools and training for monitoring coverage of public health interventions, data quality assessment, planning and microplanning for immunization service delivery and Mass Drug Administration to eliminate Neglected Infectious Diseases. Member of WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) Working Group on Quality and Use of Global Immunization and Surveillance Data, 2017-2019.

William Schluter, MD, MSPH (2019—Present)
Global Immunization Division
Center for Global Health
U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Served as the Director for the Global Immunization Division at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention since January 2017. He supported immunization programs in multiple countries including long-term assignments in the World Health Organization Offices for Ethiopia, Nepal and the Western Pacific Region based in the Philippines. Dr Schluter attended Creighton University School of Medicine before completing residency training in both family medicine and general preventive medicine and public health. He served as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer at CDC in the National Immunization Program.

Laurence (Larry) Slutsker, M.D., M.P.H. (2013—Present)
Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases

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.

Dr. Faisal Sultan (2021-Present)
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health
Ministry of National Health Services Regulations and Coordination
Government of Pakistan

Serves as the Prime Minister’s focal person on COVID-19 and has served as the CEO (from 2003 to 2021) of Shaukat Khanum Memorial and Cancer Hospital and as consultant physician on medicine and infectious diseases since 1995. He graduated from the King Edward Medical College (Lahore) in 1987. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine in the specialties of Internal Medicine (1992) and Infectious Disease (1994) and is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Pakistan.

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.

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.

See historical archive list of members »

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