GHD-NET’s Background

In response to increasing interest in, and demand for, research, training, and advisory expertise concerning diplomatic negotiations affecting health, the Department of Ethics, Equity, Trade, and Human Rights of the World Health Organization (WHO/ETH) partnered with the Rockefeller Foundation to explore the emerging field of global health diplomacy. The heightened importance of health concerns in the foreign policies of states means that many diplomatic negotiations have consequences for health. However, knowledge about health in such negotiations is not well developed, and training for health officials and diplomats in GHD has not been part of their respective training regimens.

Over the course of three meetings in 2009, WHO/ETH and the Rockefeller Foundation convened the “Bellagio Global Health Diplomacy Dialogue Series,” bringing together academic experts, foreign policy specialists, and practicing diplomats from around the world to address the need for, and possible strategies to develop, a global network focused on GHD. Participants agreed that such a network could contribute to a better analytical understanding of GHD and to improving how policy processes and diplomatic negotiations reflect and affect health concerns.

To see GHD-NET website launch at Graduate Institute, Geneva on November 29th, 2010, click here

Steering committee

The Network has a steering committee of seven GHD-NET members who will be selected by GHD-NET members in the second half of 2011 for a two year period.  In 2010-2011, the Network has a Founding steering committee composed of the seven individuals; a list with short bios is provided below.  During the start-up phase of 2010-2011, the Secretariat of GHD-NET will be hosted by the Centre for Trade Policy and Law, a think tank sponsored by Carleton University and University of Ottawa in Canada. The steering committee will also collaborate with an advisors’ forum which brings together donors, funders, international organisations and practitioners who have a special advisory role in the Network.   

Chantal Blouin
Centre for Trade Policy and Law, Carleton University/University of Ottawa

Chantal Blouin is Associate Director of the Centre for Trade Policy and Law, and Co-director of the Health and Foreign Policy Initiative at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University.   Before joining CTPL in 2007, Chantal was Senior Researcher, Trade and Development at The North-South Institute in Ottawa. She held a senior fellowship at the Canadian International Council in 2008-2009, a Congressional fellowship from the American Political Science Association (APSA) in 1999-2000 and the Norman Robertson Research Fellowship at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) in 1998-1999.   She completed her PhD in Political Science at the University of Toronto and holds a MA and BA in Political Science from Université Laval. 

Chantal Blouin has built a research program on the emerging issues related to international trade and health.  In her capacity as a consultant and advisor to the World Health Organisation, she has been leading an innovative research and capacity-building program on the impact of international trade agreements and economic integration on health systems and population health.  Her publications in this area include, The Canadian Approach to corporate social responsibility in the extractive industry: Toward better regulartors governance in mining in Latin America (Revista de Negocios Internacionales, 2010) Trade, Food, Diet and Health (Wiley-Blackwell Press, 2010), Trade and the Social Determinants of Health (The Lancet, 2009), International Trade in Health Services and the GATS (World Bank, 2006), Trade and Health: Seeking Common Ground (McGill/Queens University Press, 2008) and Trade Policy and Health: From conflicting interest to policy coherence (WHO Bulletin, 2007). 

Nick Drager

Nick Drager, former Director of the Department of Ethics, Equity, Trade and Human Rights at the World Health Organization is Honorary Professor, Global Health Policy at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Professor of Practice of Public Policy and Global Health Diplomacy at McGill University. His work focuses on current and emerging public health issues related to globalization and health, especially global health diplomacy/governance, foreign policy and international trade and health. The policy related, research and training activities of the work programme he leads are designed to contribute to enabling policy makers and public health practitioners to analyse and act on the broader determinants of health development, to better manage and shape the global and national policy environment for health and to place public health interests higher on the global development agenda to improve health outcomes. Prior to this he was Senior Adviser in the Strategy Unit, Office of the Director-General at WHO.He has extensive experience working with senior officials in developing countries worldwide and major multilateral and bilateral development agencies in health policy development, health sector analysis, strategic planning and resource mobilization and allocation decisions and in providing advice on health development negotiations and in conflict resolution.

He has deep experience in global health diplomacy and high level negotiations on international health development issues. He has represented WHO at international events and conferences, serves as chair, keynote speaker at numerous international conferences; he lectures at Universities in Europe, North America and Asia; and is the author of numerous papers, editorials, and books in the area of global health and development. He has an M.D. from McGill University and a Ph.D. in Economics from Hautes Etudes Internationales, University of Geneva.

David Fidler
Indiana University

Professor Fidler specializes in international law. He is one of the world's leading experts on international law and global health. Professor Fidler is also an internationally recognized expert on biosecurity threats posed by biological weapons and bioterrorism, the international legal and policy implications of "non-lethal" weapons, counterinsurgency and rule of law operations, and the globalization of baseball. In addition to his teaching and scholarly activities, Professor Fidler has served as an international legal consultant to the World Bank (on foreign investment in Palestine), the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (on global health issues), the U.S. Department of Defense's Defense Science Board (on bioterrorism), the Scientists Working Group on Biological and Chemical Weapons of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, U.S. Joint Forces Command (on rule of law issues in complex operations), the Interagency Afghanistan Integrated Civilian-Military Pre-Deployment Training Course organized by the Departments of Defense, State, Agriculture and the U.S. Agency for International Development, and various initiatives undertaken by non-governmental organizations in the areas of global health and arms control. He was also the editor for the Insights publication series of the American Society of International Law from 2007-2009.

Churnrurtai Kanchanachitra
Mahidol University

Churnrurtai Kanchanachitra is an Associate Professor and Vice President for Collaboration and Networking, Mahidol University, Thailand. She holds a Ph.D in Sociology from American University, Washington, D.C. She has more than 30 years of experience in health policy development at the country level both as a researcher and a policy actor. She is an expert in health policy, gender and health, poverty and equity in health. She has participated in the development of National Health Assembly since 2001 and served as a Vice Chair of National Health Assembly Organizing Committee and a Chair of Sub-Committee during the National Health Assembly in 2009. She is now a Chair of National Health Assembly Organizing Committee and will be a President of National Health Assembly in 2010.

Ilona Kickbush
Graduate Institute for International and Development Studies

Ilona Kickbusch is the Director of the Global Health Programme at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva. She advises organisations, government agencies and the private sector on policies and strategies to promote health at the national, European and international level. She has published widely and is a member of a number of advisory boards in both the academic and the health policy arena. She has received many awards and served as the Adelaide Thinker in Residence at the invitation of the Premier of South Australia. She has recently launched a think-tank initiative “Global Health Europe: A Platform for European Engagement in Global Health” and the “Consortium for Global Health Diplomacy”. Her key areas of interest are global health governance, global health diplomacy, health in all policies, the health society and health literacy. She has had a distinguished career with the World Health Organization, at both the regional and global level, where she initiated the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion and a range of “settings projects” including Healthy Cities. From 1998 – 2003 she joined Yale University as the head of the global health division, where she contributed to shaping the field of global health and headed a major Fulbright programme. She is a political scientist with a PhD from the University of Konstanz, Germany.

Richard Smith
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Richard Smith is Professor of Health System Economics, and Head of the new Department of Global Health and Development, within the Faculty of Public Health and Policy, at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and sits on the Management Committee of the WHO Collaborating Centre on Global Change and Health based at the School.  Richard has been a Health Economist for some 20 years, following undergraduate and postgraduate studies in economics at the University of York. Upon leaving York in 1991, he worked in Sydney, Cambridge, Bristol, Melbourne and Norwich, before joining the School in May 2007. He is also an Honorary Professor of Health Economics at the Universities of Hong Kong and East Anglia, and is an Associate Fellow at The Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House.

Richard has worked in a number of areas of health economics, such as the monetary and non-monetary valuation of health, health care reform and genomics. More recently his work has focused especially upon developing the application of macro-economics to health, the economics of globalization and health, and aspects of trade in health goods, services, people and ideas.  His current interests are broadly in the interaction and interface between a nations health system and other systems - both within the nation (e.g. tourism, travel and leisure sectors) and between different countries (e.g. through movement of health professionals). This interest has been manifest in three areas: (i) macro-economic modeling of health (care), covering infectious disease and more recently nutrition-related non-communicable disease; (ii) economic analysis of the impact of trade and trade agreements; and (iii) international financing for health and health care.  Within this work he has always taken a mulit-disciplinary approach, and especially focussed upon the political-economy aspects of these areas, most recently engaging in work funded through the Rockefeller Foundation on Global Health Diplomacy.

Richard has received over £25 million in grant income, published five books and more than 100 journal papers.  He is an Associate Editor of Health Economics, and Member of the editorial boards for the Journal of Public Health and Globalization and Health.  He has had a long involvement with the World Health Organization (WHO), and currently sits on the WHO External Scientific Resource Group on Globalization, Trade and Health, the Panel of Experts for the WHO Genomic Resource Centre and is an Expert Advisor in trade for the WHO IHR Roster of Experts.  Richard has also acted as an expert advisor for a number of other international and national bodies.