“The Global Health Fellows Program offers a unique opportunity to learn firsthand how global health policy is formulated and implemented. Launched by Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy in 2004, the program provides students with both academic and experiential perspectives on how intergovernmental institutions, public-private partnerships and nongovernmental organizations shape global health policy and programs.”- Learn more about the Global Health Fellows Program
This year's Global Health Fellows program class of 23 fellows was our largest class ever. It included 3 current and former Duke students, partially supported by USAID grants, including a Master of Science in Global Health student and a Sanford and DGHI graduate.
Our fellows kicked off the summer in mid-May, when many arrived in Geneva to take part in the 66th World Health Assembly (WHA). The fellows worked in a broad range of internships, including the World Health Organization, World Trade Organization, GAVI Alliance, World Heart Federation, UNAIDS, UN Development Program, UN Environment Programme, International Organization for Migration, and UN High Commission for Refugees.
Once in Geneva, the Program made special arrangements to host President Richard Brodhead with a reception overlooking Lake Léman at the home of a Duke Alumna. Duke graduate students, faculty, and alumni were also in attendance. Additionally, Sanford Director of Graduate Studies, Mac McCorkle attended events throughout the week, including our course seminars and site visits.
Our staff led the one week capstone course, "Health Policy in a Globalizing World." The course included 15 expert seminars on topics such as Innovation + Access, a new international R&D framework, Global Mental Health, Noncommunicable diseases, and Human Resources for Health. Alongside the seminars, the program organized 10 site visits to organizations in Geneva, including GAVI, MSF, WHO SHOC room and World Polio Eradication Initiative.
The fellows also met with many of Geneva's leading policymakers during mentorship dinners, including TDR Director (John Reeder), Executive Director of UNITAID (Denis Broun), Silas Holland (Duke graduate and Global Fund Specialist), and Nina Schwalbe (Managing Director of GAVI Alliance Policy and Performance Unit).
The week was capped off by our participation in the Trilateral Symposium on Medical Innovation- New Business Models, hosted by WHO, WTO, and WIPO. All three Director Generals spoke to the symposium, which provided another unique opportunity for our fellows to learn and interact with lead policymakers in the field. Duke Professor Anthony So presented at the Symposium on the need for innovative business models through the lens of Antibiotic Resistance, highlighting the reasons for the current dearth of novel antibiotics in the pharmaceutical pipeline currently and providing a framework for rethinking the models of antibiotic R&D. His talk generated much interest and was picked up by many outlets, including the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, which contacted the Program last week for guidance on how to move forward with federal action on antibiotic innovation.
For those interested, the full symposium program, including video and slides, can be found here.