World Health Day 2022 – Presenters

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD

Director-General, World Health Organization

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was elected as WHO Director-General for a five-year term at the Seventieth World Health Assembly in May 2017. He is the first WHO Director-General to have been elected from multiple candidates by the World Health Assembly, and is the first person from the WHO African Region to serve as WHO’s chief technical and administrative officer.  He served as Ethiopia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2012–2016. In this role he led efforts to negotiate the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, in which 193 countries committed to the financing necessary to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. He was also Ethiopia’s Minister of Health from 2005–2012. He was elected as Chair of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Board in 2009, and served as Chair of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership Board, and Co-chair of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Board. He holds a PhD in Community Health from the University of Nottingham and a Master of Science in Immunology of Infectious Diseases from the University of London. He has published numerous journal articles and received awards and recognition including the Decoration of the Order of Serbian Flag and the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Humanitarian Award.

Dr. Nisha Botchwey

Dean, Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota

Nisha Botchwey, PhD, began serving as dean of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs in January 2022. Previously, Botchwey served as associate dean for academic programs at Georgia Tech Professional Education. In that role she was responsible for developing academic programs, overseeing all academic offerings and curriculum, and leading outreach and student affairs. She played a key role in leading Georgia Tech’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Botchwey was also a tenured associate professor in Georgia Tech’s School of City and Regional Planning, and director of the School’s Healthy Places Lab. She was on the Georgia Tech faculty since 2012, and also served as an adjunct professor at Emory University’s School of Public Health. Botchwey taught at the University of Virginia’s Department of Urban and Environmental Planning from 2003 to 2011. Botchwey’s research and teaching have been at the nexus of environmental and health policy and the built environment, with a special focus on youth engagement and health equity. Over her career, she has been awarded more than $16 million from leading agencies and foundations as principal investigator or co-PI on more than 30 grant-funded projects.

Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan

Lieutenant Governor, State of Minnesota

The honorable Peggy Flanagan is Minnesota’s 50th Lieutenant Governor. Her work centers on advocating for children, working families, communities of color, and indigenous communities. She grew up in a suburb of Minneapolis and holds a B.A. in American Indian studies and child psychology from the University of Minnesota (2002). She served on the Minneapolis Board of Education from 2005 to 2009. Ms. Flanagan went on to work at Wellstone Action as one of the original trainers of Camp Wellstone. She trained thousands of progressive activists, community organizers, elected officials, and candidates – including Timothy Walz, current Governor of Minnesota. Following her work at Wellstone Action, Ms. Flanagan served as the Executive Director of Children’s Defense Fund – Minnesota, a nonprofit child advocacy organization. She was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2015 and elected Lieutenant Governor in 2019.

Christopher Bailey

Art & Health Lead, World Health Organization

Christopher Bailey is the Arts & Health lead at the World Health Organisation, based in in Geneva, Switzerland. His program focuses on the research agenda, community implementation and mobilizing the global media to explore, understand and support the health benefits of the arts, in everyday life as well as an instrument in the field. Educated at Columbia and Oxford Universities, as well at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, before entering Global Health and Philanthropy, Bailey was a professional actor and playwright. He is presently engaged heavily in using the arts in the COVID-19 global response.

Dr. Shafi Ahmed

Founder/CEO Medical Realities

Professor Shafi Ahmed is a multi award winning surgeon, teacher, futurist, innovator, entrepreneur and an evangelist in augmented and virtual reality. He is a 3x TEDx and an international keynote speaker and is a faculty at Singularity University.

He is a cancer surgeon at The Royal London and St Bartholomew’s Hospitals and has been awarded the accolade of the most watched surgeon in human history. As a dedicated trainer, educator, and Associate Dean of Bart’s Medical School, he was awarded the Silver Scalpel award in 2015 as the best national trainer in surgery by the Association of Surgeons in Training. He is currently serving as an elected member of council of the Royal College of Surgeons of England where he is the Director of the International Surgical Training Programme. He is an honorary visiting professor at The University of Bradford where he delivered the Cantor Lecture of Technology in 2017 and the public lecture to open the Digital Health Enterprise Zone. In 2017 he was the top Top British Asian star in Tech and received this award from HRH Duke of York.

Dr. Siyabulela Mandela

Regional Project Manager for Journalists for Human Rights in East & Southern Africa

Dr. Siyabulela Mandela is a humanitarian, scholar, and journalist, currently directing the East and Southern Africa program for Human Rights, an international organization working inform the media and policymakers about the human rights impacts on girls and women due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the need for effective and comprehensive action to address this deepening crisis across the region. This month he took part in a very special program sponsored by the Eugene McCarthy Center for Public Policy and Civic Engagement and the Multicultural Center at St. Benedicts and St. John’s Universities here in Minnesota.

Mandela – or Madiba as he likes to be called –holds a Ph.D. in International Relations and Conflict Resolution from the Nelson Mandela University in South Africa. Mandela has deep connections to social justice movements across the world like his grandfather, the late former president of South Africa and Nobel Peace Prize recipient.

Dr. Leona Hess

Director of Strategy and Equity Education, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York City

Leona Hess, PhD, is a change leader, systems thinker, and experiential facilitator with extensive experience supporting social change within institutions. In 2018, she joined the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai as the Director of Strategy and Equity Education Programs where she is leading a transformational process to develop the capacity of leaders, staff, and students to dismantle racism. Trained in change management methodologies and relationship systems coaching, she facilitates opportunities to engage in deeper dialogue, challenge the status quo, promote critical thinking and systems thinking, and identify sound actions and a strategy toward systemic change. A transformational educator, she has taught courses at Columbia University and within the CUNY on contemporary social issues, focusing on systems of oppression such as racism, sexism, ableism, and heterocentrism. Dr. Hess holds a PhD from Columbia University, a MSW from NYU, and a BS from George Washington University.

Tom Murickan

Student Ambassador, AIMed, and founder AI Collegiate Research Assistant, UArizona BIO5 Institute

Tom Murickan is a rising junior in the Honors College at the University of Arizona studying biomedical engineering. He has always dreamt of being a physician and is now incredibly passionate about leading the next generation of AI-assisted healthcare professionals.
Tom Murickan, a first-year BME student, recently became the Artificial Intelligence In Medicine Club’s first student ambassador. He recently started a column on the club’s website “charting his quest to become an AI-assisted physician” and detailing his work to establish an AI-Med Club at his high school. AIMed’s goals are to eradicate challenges, define AI-enabled solutions, create an efficient workplace, and assist medical professionals to discover new ways to incorporate advances in technology to help the way they work.

“One thing I’ve already learnt about the AI-med community is that there are no egos involved here,” Murickan wrote. “On the contrary. I’m honestly not trying to flatter you when I say that AI-med is an unfailingly welcoming, interested and encouraging community. I put it down to the community holding an unwavering belief that the next great AI breakthrough can come from anyone, anywhere – regardless of age and background.”

Geo Murickan

Global Ambassador, AIMed and President and CEO, Pioneer Power Mobility

Geo Murickan is an influential leader in diverse sectors, applying 20+ years of experience to exceptional team performance, relationship management, and profit generation with a keen sense for innovation and market trends with Fortune 500 companies and Private companies. He has expertise in management, business development, operations, process improvement, program and project management, marketing, sales, fiscal oversight, and client satisfaction. He also excels in technology, engineering, services and client-centric solutions. A Thought Leader & Innovator in Digital Transformation with focus and expertise in Cloud Architecture & Migration, Big Data & Analytics, Block Chain, Machine Learning & AI. Proficient Corporate C-level Executive, he is an accomplished Entrepreneur with success in scaling Start-ups through IP development and productization of Internet of Things (IoT) products and services, built on Operational Technology (OT) expertise and transformed with IT proficiency, while managing growth through timely infusion of Boot-Strap / VC / PE Investors.

Andrés Gallegos

Chair, National Council on Disability

Andrés J. Gallegos, Esq. is a disability rights attorney and shareholder with the Chicago, Illinois law firm of Robbins DiMonte, Ltd. Andrés founded and directs his law firm’s national disability rights practice, which has as its focus improving access to healthcare and wellness programs for persons across all categories of disabilities throughout the country. In February 2018, Andrés received a congressional appointment to the National Council on Disability (NCD). In January 2021, on the afternoon of his inauguration, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., designated Andrés to be the Chairman of NCD. NCD is an independent federal agency that advises the President, his Administration, Congress and federal agencies on all policy matters affecting persons with disabilities in the country and in the US territories.

Andrés was recently elected as a member of the Board of Directors of the American Association on Health & Disability, a cross-disability national nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring health equity for children and adults with disabilities through policy, research, education, and dissemination. He is the immediate-past Chairman of the Board of Directors for Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago, Chicago’s Center for Independent Living, and has been a member of its Board since 2010. Andrés is also a member of the Board of Directors of Disability Lead, a Chicago-based nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase civic engagement and diverse leadership in the Chicago region by developing and building a network of leaders with disabilities. Andrés is a former two-term member of the Statewide Independent Living Council of Illinois, appointed by the Illinois governor in 2010.

Andrés is a person with a disability having sustained a spinal cord injury, resulting in quadriplegia, as a result of an automobile accident in 1996. Andrés is a veteran of the United States Air Force having served on active duty for 14 years.

Dr. Margaret-Mary Wilson

Chief Medical Officer, UnitedHealth Group

Dr. Margaret-Mary Wilson works to help advance UnitedHealth Group’s clinical quality, innovation, modernization and transformation efforts to develop a modern, sustainable high-performing health system that addresses the critical needs and opportunities around improving health equity, expanding access, lowering costs, and improving outcomes and experiences for patients, payers, and providers. She joined UnitedHealth Group in 2008 and most recently served as Associate Chief Medical Officer. Prior to that, she served at UnitedHealthcare Clinical Services and then as Chief Medical Officer for UnitedHealthcare Global, where she was responsible for ensuring a high-performance, high-reliability global clinical care delivery business.

Anne Stake

Chief Strategy and Product Officer at Medtronic LABS

As Chief Strategy & Product Officer at Medtronic LABS, Anne is responsible for defining the strategic vision for the future of LABS as well as developing new ventures. Prior to LABS, she worked at the intersection of design, business model innovation and public policy, including roles at Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), Medtronic, IDEO and Idea Couture. She brings experience designing alongside communities in Rwanda, Tanzania, India and the US.

Anne stays up at night thinking about how to apply world class service, technology and business design to improve health for underserved populations.

Anne holds a B.A. from Stanford University, a Masters in Design from Parsons School of Design, and a Masters of Public Policy from Oxford University.

Dr. Luqman Lawal

Vice-President of Health Equity, Bright Healthcare

A physician, public health professional, and global health expert with over a dozen years of experience. He earned his medical degree from the University of Ilorin, Nigeria, in 2010, a master’s degree in public health from the University of Minnesota School of public health in 2014, and a certificate in Global Health from the renowned Harvard School of public health in 2015. Furthermore, he earned a certificate in public health planning from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2017. Luqman Lawal currently serves as an MIT Sloan leadership fellow, and he is completing a master’s degree in business administration from the prestigious MIT Sloan School of management.

He has been working to advance healthcare for the most vulnerable population in over seventy low and middle-income countries across sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, and Latin America. Luqman possesses a wealth of experience in global health, health equity, systems strengthening, and strategic planning; he is obsessed with finding bold, innovative, transformative, and sustainable solutions to the most complex and challenging world problems impacting the most vulnerable. He currently serves as the Vice President of Health equity at Bright Health Group.

 He currently champions an innovative approach to eradicating the structural, social, and economic barriers that have prevented underserved populations from reaching their maximal health potential in the US. by leveraging payor, provider, and health technology platforms. And most of his research work at MIT has focused on utilizing AI/ ML to advance healthcare outcomes for the most vulnerable. In addition, he serves on the board of RoundtableRx USA.

Dr. Jayshree Seth

Chief Science Advocate and Corporate Scientist, 3M

Dr. Jayshree Seth is a corporate scientist at 3M and leads Applied Technology Development for Industrial Adhesives and Tapes Division. She joined 3M in 1993 after an M.S. and Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Clarkson University, New York. She holds 72 patents for a variety of innovations with several additional pending. Dr. Seth is a Distinguished Alumni Award recipient from her alma mater REC Trichy India, now NIIT Trichy, where she earned a B. Tech. in Chemical Engineering. Dr. Seth was appointed 3M’s first-ever chief science advocate in 2018 and is using her scientific knowledge, technical expertise, and professional experience to advance science and communicate the importance and benefits of science in everyday life.


Dr. Niousha Roshani

Co-Founder, Global Black Youth

Niousha Roshani is a multi-sectoral expert practitioner in technology, business and human rights infusing investment of capital, resources, knowledge and opportunities into unnurtured, under-utilized and under-invested young talents on a global scale. She completed a PostDoc at Harvard University, a PhD in Education at the University College London (UCL), a Master’s degree in International Development from Cornell University, and a BS in Civil Engineering.

A fluency in five languages, an Iranian heritage and an educational background at the International French school in Côte d’Ivoire have positioned Niousha as a cross-cultural and global expert in research, policy and practice working in over 25 countries directing organizations and programs, establishing strategic partnerships and working with entrepreneurs, CSOs, philanthropy, the private and public sectors.

She is the co-founder of Global Black Youth, which connects, amplifies and invests in the reach and impact of the most cutting-edge technology generated by young Black innovators and entrepreneurs on a global scale. She co-founded The Black Entrepreneurs Club (The BEC), a global Black entrepreneurship ecosystem connecting entrepreneurs to opportunities.

She was the Deputy Director of the Content Policy & Society Lab at Stanford University, a Technology and Human Rights Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, an IDB-ALARI Fellow on Race and Public Policy in Latin America at the Afro-Latin American Research Institute and a research fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. As a senior fellow at the Portulans Institute, she conducted research on decolonized innovation and the new futures of work in Africa and LAC.

In her past roles, she advised governments and the private sector on youth entrepreneurship and conflict resolution, digital rights of young people (SSA, LAC and ME); on tech + policy (LAC); on best practices for journalists to report on young women in digital media (Asia); and addressing misinformation online with journalists (Europe, Africa and LAC). For over a decade, she served as the Executive Director of the Nukanti Foundation, leveraging youth-led media to strengthen communities affected by armed conflict.

Rolando A. Gittens

Research BioEngineer & Coordinator at INDICASAT AIP

Dr. Rolando A. Gittens received his Bachelor’s in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from the Technological University of Panama (2006), his Master’s in Materials Science & Engineering (2011), and PhD in Bioengineering (2012) from the Georgia Institute of Technology. His research focuses on the role of nanostructural and electrical properties of biomaterials in cell differentiation processes for tissue regeneration. His work has resulted in one patent and another active application for surface nanomodificación of titanium implants, more than 20 publications in high impact journals, co-authorship in a book chapter, prestigious awards such as the TWAS-ROLAC Affiliated Member recognition in 2017, being named one of Central America Innovators Under 35 by the MIT Tech Review, obtaining several Young Investigator Awards in recognized international conferences, and being appointed as a Distinguished Member of the National Research System (SNI) in Panama.

Currently, Dr. Gittens is a Research Engineer at the Institute for Scientific Research and High Technology Services (INDICASAT AIP) in Panama, where he continues to study biomaterials and stem cells for regenerative engineering, as well as applications of mass spectrometry for innovations in public health. Finally, he actively applies his soft skills in intellectual property and scientific diplomacy for scientific lobbying to enact laws that support the Science, Technology and Innovation system. Dr. Gittens also works as a consultant for business innovation through R&D and the formulation of new ventures.

Abbey Hauser

Inclusion Advocate, Assistive Technology Program, U of Illinois, Chicago -blogger at

Look up the words tough or resilient in the dictionary and you might just find Abbey Hauser’s photo there. Abbey is an athlete who has ran, and finished, the Chicago Marathon, enjoys trail running, and loves to train. What sets Abbey apart from others is not her passion for running, but the fact that she’s an athlete living with, and overcoming, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, or EDS.

EDS is a group of rare genetic connective tissue disorders. Symptoms include; joint hypermobility resulting in easy dislocations, smooth velvety skin that is overly elastic or stretchy, frequent bruising, abnormal scarring, joint degeneration, and chronic pain. Abbey’s family first realized something was amiss when, at age seven, she dislocated her knee simply by rolling over, only to dislocate it again two months later just by lying down to color. “I’ve dislocated my shoulder holding a door open for a stranger, dislocated my knee while coloring as a child or just rolling over in bed, I’ve developed stress fractures in my spine from just the stress of gravity, and have survived countless other injuries caused from simple tasks,” Abbey explains.

Some might consider Abbey’s body to be fragile, too fragile to lead a normal life, Abbey disagrees; “I refuse to be defined by the genetic mutations that have weakened the collagen holding my body together. My body will always be unstable and fragile, but my limitations do not determine who I am.” When not busy leading an active lifestyle, Abbey is an advocate for those living with rare diseases. Abbey writes about her experiences and those of other rare disease fighters in her blog Owning My Story. “I urge anyone working in rare disease advocacy or health policy to take the time to listen to rare disease patient stories. The rare disease community may sound small, but as we come together to share our stories, our strength grows” Abbey says.

Dr. David Muller

Dean for Medical Education, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York City

David Muller, M.D is the Dean for Medical Education, Professor of Medical Education and Medicine, and the Marietta and Charles C. Morchand Chair for Medical Education at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. His current work focuses on 1) the impact of racism and bias on medical education, 2) creating alternative pathways to medical school in an effort to redefine national standards for undergraduate and post-bac pre-med preparation, and 3) developing creative training opportunities for medical students who are interested in diverse careers in medicine. His recent honors include the 2015 Alpha Omega Alpha Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Award and the 2009 American Medical Association (AMA) Foundation Pride in the Profession Award. Under his leadership, ISMMS was recognized with the AAMC Spencer Foreman Community Service Award in 2009. In 2004 he was inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society.

Dr. Muller co-founded and directed the Mount Sinai Visiting Doctors Program. Founded in 1995, Visiting Doctors is now the largest academic physician home visiting program in the country. David Muller, M.D., received his B.A. from Johns Hopkins University and his M.D. from New York University School of Medicine. He completed his Internship and Residency in Internal Medicine at The Mount Sinai Medical Center, where he spent an additional year as Chief Resident. In 2005 Dr. Muller was appointed Dean for Medical Education and the Marietta and Charles C. Morchand Chair in Medical Education.


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