The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has become one of the biggest grant providers in global health and development. It focuses on improving health and alleviating extreme poverty in the global South and harnesses advances in science and technology for global health. In the United States, the foundation also engages in programs related to education and support of vulnerable children and families. The foundation is based in Seattle, Washington, with regional offices in Washington, New Delhi, Beijing, London and representatives based in Nigeria, Ethiopia, and South Africa. Its trustees are Bill and Melinda Gates, and Warren Buffett.
Chris Elias, President of the Global Development Program of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, has accepted the invitation of the Global Health Programme to engage in a dialogue session with members of civil society organisations. He leads the foundation’s efforts in a diverse range of program areas aimed at finding creative new ways to ensure solutions and products get into the hands of people in poor countries who need them most.
Focusing on areas with the potential for high-impact, sustainable solutions, Chris Elias oversees the Global Development’s portfolio in Agriculture Development; Emergency Response; Family Planning; Financial Services for the Poor; Maternal, Newborn, & Child Health; Nutrition; Polio Eradication; Vaccine Delivery; and Water, Sanitation & Hygiene. A common theme of these programs is innovative and integrated delivery, including an emphasis on strengthening of primary health care systems.
Chris Elias’ professional background is in public health and medicine. Prior to joining the Gates Foundation in February 2012, he worked in various positions and countries for international nonprofit organizations, most recently serving as the president and CEO of PATH, an international NGO dedicated to improving the health of people around the world by advancing technologies, strengthening systems, and encouraging healthy behaviors.
The conversation was moderated by Prof Ilona Kickbusch.