Partnership for Evidence-Based Response to COVID-19


May 5, 2020

Using Data to Find a Balance

The complete report and press release are available at

Teleconference Recording and Speaker Bios

The teleconference recording is available to watch here

Speaker Bios:

Dr. John Nkengasong was appointed first Director of Africa CDC in November 2016 to provide strategic direction and position it as an African-owned institution supporting countries to improve surveillance, preparedness, response and prevention of disease threats. He is a leading virologist with nearly 30 years of work experience in public health. Prior to his appointment with Africa CDC, he was Associate Director of Laboratory Science and Chief of the International Laboratory Branch at the Division of Global HIV/AIDS, Center for Global Health at the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Earlier in his career (1993 to 1995), Dr. Nkengasong worked for the WHO as Chief of Virology at the Collaborating Centre on HIV Diagnostics at the Department of Microbiology, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium and later joined US CDC in 1995 as Chief of the Virology Laboratory in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. Dr. Nkengasong has over 120 publications focusing particularly on HIV diagnosis, pathogenesis and drug resistance in internationally revered journals such as The LancetJournal of VirologyJournal of Infectious Diseases, and Journal of Clinical Microbiology. He has written multiple book chapters on HIV therapy in resource-constrained settings. Dr. Nkengasong has received several awards and recognitions, including the US Secretary of Health and Human Services Award for Excellence in Public Health Protection Research, multiple Director’s Recognition Awards, and the National Order of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire for his outstanding work in public health in that country. He has been nominated for the US Agency’s prestigious Shepard Award many times and continues to serve on numerous international advisory boards and journal review panels. He led the processes leading to the establishment of the African Society for Laboratory Medicine. Dr. Nkengasong holds a master’s degree in tropical biomedical science from the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium, a master’s degree in medical and pharmaceutical sciences and a doctorate degree in medical sciences (virology) from the University of Brussels School of Medicine, Belgium. He also holds a certificate in management and leadership from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Dr. Nkengasong speaks fluent English and French.

Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, from Botswana, is the first woman to be elected as WHO Regional Director for Africa. Over the past five years, Dr. Moeti has led the transformation of WHO in Africa to ensure the Organization is accountable, effective and driven by results. A key feature of the Regional Director's leadership is the cultivation of strong partnerships, both with traditional and new partners, including philanthropic foundations, civil society, academia, and increasing engagement with young people and women in global health. 

To deliver on the WHO Thirteenth General Programme of Work, the Secretariat is supporting countries to achieve universal health coverage (UHC), improve health security, and promote better well-being to make health a reality for all people in Africa. Innovations and digital health are being leveraged as key tools to improve health outcomes and leapfrog national development.

Supported by Dr. Moeti's leadership and advocacy, momentum for UHC is building across the Region. Many countries are undertaking reforms to improve health financing and delivery of essential services. No cases of wild poliovirus have been reported in Africa for over three years and the Region is on track to be certified free of wild poliovirus in 2020. WHO is now faster, better-coordinated and more effective in supporting countries to prepare for and respond to emergencies, with the average time to control outbreaks in the Region, reducing from 418 days in 2016 to 51 days in 2018.

Dr. Moeti is a public health veteran, with almost 40 years of national and international experience. She joined the WHO Regional Office for Africa in 1999 and has served as Deputy Regional Director, Assistant Regional Director, Director of Noncommunicable Diseases, WHO Representative for Malawi, Coordinator of the Inter-Country Support Team for the South and East African countries and Regional Advisor for HIV/AIDS.

Dr. Moeti is renowned for having led WHO’s “3 by 5” Initiative in Africa at the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, resulting in a significant increase in access to antiretroviral therapy among people living with HIV.

Prior to joining WHO, Dr Moeti worked with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) as Team Leader of the Africa and Middle East Desk in Geneva (1997–1999); with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) as Regional Health Advisor for East and Southern Africa; and with Botswana’s Ministry of Health as a clinician and public health specialist.

Dr. Moeti holds a degree in medicine (M.B., B.S) and a master’s degree in public health (MSc in Community Health for Developing Countries) from the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, University of London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, respectively.

Dr. Moeti was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Health & Allied Sciences, Ghana.

Dr. Tom Frieden served as Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Commissioner of the New York City Health Department. He is currently President and Chief Executive Officer of Resolve to Save Lives, a $225 million, 5-year initiative of the global health organization Vital Strategies that aims to save millions of lives from cardiovascular disease and make the world safer from epidemics. His work made New York City’s tuberculosis control program and overall health department models for the world, established effective programs in India, and improved morale, effectiveness, and impact at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Tom Frieden’s influential publications have identified the what, how and why of action to improve health.

Dr. Tom Frieden is a physician with advanced training in internal medicine, infectious disease, public health, and epidemiology. Over the past 25 years:

  • As Director, led the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) work that ended the Ebola epidemic, launched initiative that will prevent 500,000 heart attacks and strokes, sounded the alarm and accelerated progress addressing the epidemic of opioid use, and increased effective action on the front lines to find and fight winnable battles and protect and improve health in the United States and around the world (2009-2017).
  • As the first Director of International Health Programs of Bloomberg Philanthropies, designed and launched the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use, a program that has prevented more than 35 million deaths around the world (2006-2009, pro bono).
  • As Health Commissioner, led health transformation in New York City, increasing life expectancy by 3 years, preventing more than 100,000 deaths from smoking, and spurring national and global action on, among other areas, better epidemiologic understanding and control of public health problems including HIV, tobacco control, nutrition, as well as the integration of health care and public health. Reorganized to increase revenues and optimize health impact (2002-2009).
  • Guided the Indian tuberculosis control program to improve diagnosis and treatment rapidly, creating the largest and fastest expanding effective tuberculosis control program in the world and saving at least 3 million lives (1996-2002).
  • Led control of the largest outbreak of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis ever to occur in the United States by creating a tuberculosis control program that is a model for the United States and the world, with intensive community outreach, clinical excellence, effective integration of health care and public health, ongoing analysis and publication of key epidemiologic and program aspects, and rigorous accountability (1990-1996).

Dr. Darrell Bricker is the Chief Executive Officer of Ipsos Public Affairs. Ipsos’ Public Affairs has offices in 40 countries and a staff of 1000 research professionals. It is the world's leading social and public opinion research firm.

Ipsos Public Affairs is part of Paris-based Ipsos which is the 3rd largest market research company in the world.

Prior to joining Ipsos in 1990, Dr. Bricker was Director of Research in the office of Canada's Prime Minister.  He was also a research consultant with firms in Ottawa and Toronto.

Dr. Bricker holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Carleton University, and a BA and MA from Wilfrid Laurier University.  He has been awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree by Wilfrid Laurier University, which named him one of their top 100 graduates in the last 100 years. Darrell is also a Research Fellow with the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto, and at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) in Waterloo, Ontario. 

Darrell has written six national bestselling books. His latest, Empty Planet: The Shock of Global Population Decline (with John Ibbitson) is a major release with Random House. His other books include: Searching for Certainty: Inside the New Canadian Mindset (with Ed Greenspon - Doubleday, 2002), What Canadians Think About Almost Everything (with John Wright – Doubleday, 2005), We Know What You’re Thinking (with John Wright - Harper Collins, 2009), Canuckology (with John Wright - Harper Collins, 2011), and The Big Shift (with John Ibbitson - Harper Collins, 2013). Darrell’s 7th book, Next, was published with Harper Collins in March 2020.

Dr. Bricker is a popular public speaker who regularly engages with audiences around the world. He's written articles for publications as diverse as Canada's Globe and Mail and France's Le Monde. He has also appeared on television and radio with all of Canada’s major national networks, and around the world with news broadcast organizations such as CNN, the BBC and NPR.  

Darrell lives in Toronto with his wife Nina and daughter Emily.  

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