The World Health Organisation on Monday appointed Indian origin Anil Soni as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the WHO Foundation.
Anil Soni will join the new WHO Foundation on January 1, 2021 after eight years with the multinational pharmaceutical Viatris (Healthcare Company).
At Vitaris, he served as Head of Global Infectious Diseases, working across the pharmaceutical company to accelerate the availability of new and innovative treatments.
"We are at a critical juncture for global public health. After months of combatting the Covid-19 pandemic, there is hope for several successful vaccine candidates. Beyond this crucial step, the path to recovery necessitates expanded investment in the many health priorities that have been compromised in recent months - from drops in vaccine coverage and HIV treatment to delays in cancer treatment...I’m thrilled to be joining the Foundation at such a critical moment and look forward to working with the Board to realise the Foundation’s mission,” Anil Soni said.
Anil Soni has two decades of experience working across public, private, and non-profit sectors to expand healthcare access in low and middle-income countries. While at Viatris, he has been instrumental in shortening the amount of time needed to make low-cost medicines available in high-burden settings. This was most recently reflected by the approval of an HIV medicine recommended by the WHO for infants born with HIV, at a 75% reduction in cost to the current treatment.
“From his work at Viatris where he has led the development and introduction of medicines to treat HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, to his leadership of the Clinton Health Access Initiative, and his time at the Global Fund, he has demonstrated his ability to work across public, private, and non-profit sectors and build successful new organisations from the ground up. On behalf of the Board, we are delighted to have Anil lead the Foundation at this critical moment for the future of global health,” said Professor Thomas Zeltner, Founder and Chairman of the Board of the WHO Foundation.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO chief, said, “Anil Soni is a proven innovator in global health who has spent two decades in service of communities affected by HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases. He earned my trust when he and his team at the Clinton Health Access Initiative worked side by side with the Ministry of Health in Ethiopia to expand access to treatment and strengthen the management of our health centres. Anil has a unique set of skills that spans the public and private sectors, and his leadership of the Foundation will provide invaluable support to the mission of the WHO and the billions of people who depend on it.”
WHO Foundation will work alongside the World Health Organization to address most pressing health challenges across the world.