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Plenary speakers

Plenary speakers

Subject to change

Monday, November 19

Fragile Environments and Global Health
8:30-10:00 AM

Chair: Valerie Percival
Associate Professor of International Affairs - Health and Conflict, Post Conflict Health Reconstruction, Health Systems, HIV/AIDS and Conflict Analysis

Valerie Percival is an Associate Professor at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs (NPSIA) at Carleton University.  Her current research focuses on three areas:  the measurement and meaning of the suffering of civilians in violent conflict and humanitarian emergencies; the complexity of engagement in health systems; and the promise and perils of policy networks.  Prior to joining NPSIA, she held senior positions at the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade as well as the International Crisis Group, where she headed their Kosovo Office.  She holds a Doctorate in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, a Masters degree from NPSIA and an honours BA in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Toronto. 

Bob Rae
University of Toronto, Olthuis Kleer Townshend LLP, Special Envoy to Myanmar

Born in Ottawa and a graduate of both the University of Toronto and Oxford, Bob Rae was first elected to the Parliament of Canada as the Member of Parliament for Broadview in a by-election in October, 1978. He was re-elected in 1979 and 1980, and resigned his seat in 1982 when elected Leader of the Ontario New Democratic Party. He was elected to the Legislative Assembly for the riding of York South in 1982, and re-elected in 1985,1987, 1990, and 1995. After more than a decade as a partner at Goodmans LLP Bob returned to federal politics as the MP for Toronto Centre in 2008, first in a by-election and then in general elections in that year and 2011. Bob resigned his seat in 2013 to become senior partner at Olthuis Kleer Townshend LLP, where he works with First Nations as legal counsel, advisor, and negotiator.
Bob served as Ontario's 21st Premier from 1990 to 1995 and Interim Federal Leader of the Liberal Party in 2011- 2013. He was named Queen's Counsel in 1984, appointed to the Privy Council of Canada in 1998, named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2000, received the Order of Ontario in 2004 and Companion of the Order of Canada in 2015. In October, 2017 Bob was appointed as Special Envoy to Myanmar by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

In addition to his legal practice, Bob teaches at the University of Toronto as a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the School of Public Policy and Governance (SPPG), and as Distinguished Professor at Victoria College. He is a Fellow at the Forum of Federations, and consults internationally on governance issues. He has also written five books and two major reports, on the Air India bombing and higher education in Ontario. He writes and speaks regularly on public issues and also does ADR work with ADR Chambers.

Patricia Garcia
School of Public Health at Cayetano Heredia University, Peru

Dr. Patty J. García, is a Professor at the School of Public Health at Cayetano Heredia University (UPCH)  in Lima-Peru.  She is the former Minister of Health of Peru, Dean of the School of Public Health at UPCH, and former Chief of the Peruvian National Institute of Health (INS). She is recognized as a leader in Global Health. Has been member of the PAHO Foundation Technical Advisory Group (FTAG), board member of the Consortium of Universities in Global Health and President of the Latin American Association Against STDs (ALACITS).  She is affiliate Professor of the Department of Global Health, at University of Washington and of the School of Public Health at Tulane University.  She is actively involved in research and training in Global health, Reproductive health, STI/HIV, HPV and medical informatics. She has been recently appointed member of the United States National Academy of Medicine, becoming the first Peruvian professional with such a distinction.    


Tuesday, November 20

NOTE: There will be two concurrent plenaries on Tuesday

Fragile environments, global health, socio-economic inclusion: building Canadian health research capacity as one way forward
8:30-10:00 AM

Chantelle Richmond (Bigitigong Anishinabe) 
Western University, Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Health and the Environment

Chantelle Richmond (Bigitigong Anishinabe) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at Western University in London, Ontario (Canada), where she holds the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Health and the Environment.  Dr. Richmond is Director of the Interdisciplinary Development Initiative in Applied Indigenous Scholarship at Western University, and is Nominated Principal Applicant of Ontario’s Indigenous Mentorship Network.  Chantelle’s research is based on a community-centred model of research that explores the intersection of Indigenous people’s health and knowledge systems within the context of global environmental change.  Along with colleagues and community partners in Canada, Hawaii and New Zealand, Chantelle’s current research examines concepts and applied processes of environmental repossession. In 2015, she was inducted to the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars. 

Debbie Martin
Dalhousie University, Tier II Canada Research Chair, Indigenous Peoples Health and Well-Being

Debbie Martin is the Tier II Canada Research Chair, Indigenous Peoples Health and Well-Being. She is also Associate Professor, Health Promotion in the School of Health and Human Performance at Dalhousie University. Her program of research is aimed at preventing chronic diseases, which are disproportionately higher among Aboriginal peoples relative to their non-Aboriginal counterparts within Canada. Working directly with communities, Professor Martin identifies and addresses key community and societal level determinants, that are often linked to lifestyle factors, that ultimately cause chronic diseases. A key feature of her work focuses on the importance of community engagement and using Indigenous ‘ways of knowing’ (methodologies) to inform the research process – from design to dissemination.


Treena Wasonti:io Delormier
McGill University

Dr Delormier recently joined the School of Human Nutrition at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada as an Associate Professor. She is also serving as the Associate Director of McGill's Centre for Indigenous Peoples' Nutrition and Environment (CINE). Her research focuses on the food, nutrition and the of Indigenous peoples. She is involved in health promotion interventions that address the social determinants of health underlying the health inequities Indigenous Populations experience, particularly in a historical context of colonialism. Dr Delormier's research approaches employ qualitative methodologies, and privilege Indigenous and community based methodologies. She is dedicated to building

capacity in Indigenous health research through mentoring and training students and community


Dr. Delormier’s research interest are public health nutrition of Indigenous population and address health inequities by addressing the social determinants of health using participatory research approaches.

Global governance issues affecting health: a crucial challenge for these times
8:30-10:00 AM

Chair: Dinsie Williams

Dinsie B. Williams is a trained Biomedical Engineer with interests in improving healthcare delivery in resource-limited settings. She has extensive engineering design experience in diagnostic x-ray, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and electrical impedance spectroscopy. 

Dinsie’s work in international research and development includes consulting on specifications for medical devices for tuberculosis eradication in Swaziland (World Bank - Health Nutrition and Population), biomedical planning for a clinic in Sierra Leone, health technology assessment, and installation of equipment and training of technicians in Haiti and Sierra Leone (Medécins sans Frontières).

She received a B.Eng. (1997) and an M.Sc. (1999) in Biomedical Engineering from Dartmouth College (United States), and an M.Sc. (2009) in International Health Policy, Management and Evaluation from the University of Toronto (Canada). Her PhD thesis from the University of Toronto is on the topic of Facilitating Sustainable Access to Medical Devices in Sierra Leone and Ghana. 

Alma Balcázar
GRC Compliance, Columbia

Alma Balcázar is a lawyer from Universidad del Rosario - Bogota, with specialization in Corporate Law at Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, studies in Ethics and Corporate Compliance at the Ethics Resource Center - Washington DC and in Excellence in Corporate Management at Banco Mercantil –Caracas. Ample experience in development of corporate integrity and compliance programs for domestic and multinational companies. 

Foundation partner to lead ethics, compliances, anticorruption services for GRCompliance SAS - firm with broad consultant services throughout the LA region. From GRC, has provided technical assistance to the Colombian Government’s Transparency Office with the development and implementation of the “first white List register” for companies with anticorruption compliance programs in place, an initiative founded by EU (CEDDET and FIIAPP). Also provided technical assistance to the OAS – Anticorruption Mission of Honduras, for the development of an assessment and recommendations to implement a compliance anticorruption mechanism for the private sector. 

She has led as a regional expert the program of Principles of Integrity for the Pharmaceutical Industry in Latin America of Transparency International UK and the Principles for the Coalition of the sector of Medical Devices within the framework of APEC.

Anne-Emanuelle Birn
Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto

Anne-Emanuelle Birn is Professor of Critical Development Studies (UTSC) and of Social and Behavioural Health Sciences (Dalla Lana School of Public Health) at the University of Toronto, where she served as Canada Research Chair in International Health from 2003 to 2013.

Previously she was a professor of Health Policy at the New School in New York, and has been a visiting professor at the Universidad de la República in Montevideo, Uruguay, and at the Centre de Recherche Médicale et Sanitaire (INSERM) and Institut National d'Etudes Démographiques (INED) in Paris. Professor Birn’s research explores the history, politics, and political economy of international/global health, with particular interests in Latin American health and social justice movements, child health/rights, philanthrocapitalism, and the societal determination of health—and emphases ranging from the scatological to the ideological.

Jillian Kohler
Director, WHO Collaborating Centre for Governance, Transparency & Accountability in the Pharmaceutical Sector
Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and the Munk School of Global Affair

Jillian Clare Kohler, PhD is a Professor at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and the Munk School of Global Affairs. She is also Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Governance, Transparency and Accountability in the Pharmaceutical Sector.  Her professional background includes in-house pharmaceutical policy work at Unicef, the World Bank, and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), where she did field work in a range of countries including Brazil, Bulgaria, Haiti, and Romania.

Dr Kohler’s research is focused on fair access to essential medicines with a particular focus on good governance and intellectual property rights. She pioneered the methodology on good governance in the pharmaceutical system for the World Bank, which was subsequently adopted by the WHO and has been applied in over 35 countries globally.


Wednesday, November 21

Special lunch time address
12:30-1:30 PM

Rt Honorable Helen Clark
Former New Zealand Prime Minister and UNDP Administrator

Helen Clark was Prime Minister of New Zealand for three successive terms from 1999–2008.  She was the first woman to be elected as Prime Minister in New Zealand. 

Throughout her tenure as Prime Minister, and as a Member of Parliament over 27 years, Helen Clark engaged widely in policy development and advocacy across the international, economic, social, environmental, and cultural spheres. She advocated strongly for New Zealand’s comprehensive program on sustainability and for tackling the problems of climate change. She was an active leader of her country’s foreign relations, engaging in a wide range of international issues.

In April 2009, Helen Clark became Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme. She was the first woman to lead the organisation, and served two terms there. At the same time, she was Chair of the United Nations Development Group, a committee consisting of all UN funds, programs, agencies, and departments working on development issues. As Administrator, she led UNDP to be ranked the most transparent global development organisation. She completed her tenure in 2017.

Helen Clark came to the role of Prime Minister after an extensive parliamentary and ministerial career. Prior to entering the New Zealand Parliament, Helen Clark taught in the Political Studies Department of the University of Auckland, from which she earlier graduated with her BA and MA (Hons) degrees.

Helen continues to be a strong voice for sustainable development, climate action, gender equality and women’s leadership, peace and justice, and action on non-communicable diseases and on HIV.

SDGs and Intersectoral collaboration for health: Realities and Possibilities
3:30-5:00 PM

Chair: Zulfiqar A. Bhutta
The Hospital for Sick Children

Dr. Zulfiqar A. Bhutta is the Inaugural Robert Harding Chair in Global Child Health at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), Co-Director of the SickKids Centre for Global Child Health and the Founding Director of the Centre of Excellence in Women and Child Health at the Aga Khan University, unique joint appointments. He also holds adjunct professorships at several leading Universities globally including the Schools of Public Health at Johns Hopkins (Baltimore), Tufts University (Boston), Boston University School of Public Health, University of Alberta as well as the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. He is a designated Distinguished National Professor of the Government of Pakistan and was the Founding Chair of the National Research Ethics Committee of the Government of Pakistan from 2003-2014. Dr. Bhutta was a member of the Independent Expert Review Group (iERG) appointed by the UN Secretary General for monitoring global progress in maternal and child health MDGs (2011-2015). He represented the global academic and research organizations on the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (Gavi) Board and was the Co-Chair of the Global Countdown for 2015 Initiative from 2006-2016. Dr. Bhutta is the Co-Chair of the Maternal and Child Health oversight committee of the World Health Organization (WHO) Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMRO) and the Chairman of The Coalition of Centres in Global Child Health with its secretariat based at SickKids.

Paul Spiegel
Johns Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health

Paul Spiegel, MD, MPH, a Canadian physician, is internationally recognized for his research on preventing and responding to complex humanitarian emergencies. Before becoming Professor and Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health, Paul was the Deputy Director of the Division of Programme Support and Management at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Prior to joining the UN in 2002, Paul worked as a medical epidemiologist in the International Emergency and Refugee Health Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He also worked as a medical coordinator with Médecins Sans Frontières and Médecins du Monde in refugee emergencies, as well as a consultant for numerous organizations.


Francesca Joseline Marhone Pierre
Food and Nutrition Department, Haitian Ministry of Public Health and Population

Dr Francesca Joseline Marhone Pierre, MD, MPH, MSc, has been the director of Haiti’s Food and Nutrition at the Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP) for the past 23 years. Among other things, she is also Haiti’s focal point to the Scaling up Nutrition (SUN) initiative, as well as Haiti representative to the Iodine Global Network. A pharmacist and medical doctor by training (State University of Haiti), Dr Marhone is also a nutrition specialist (MSc. Tulane) and public health specialist (MPH, Tulane). She has close to 40 years or experience, working from the community level up to the strategic levels involving planning, analysis, research, teaching and advocacy. She has developed a profound knowledge of nutritional health issues among the most vulnerable populations in her country.

A passionate advocate of keeping nutrition at the heart of sustainable development efforts in Haiti and of multisectoral approaches, Dr Marhone has introduced the concept of “public health agriculture”. This is a way to promote collaboration between the health and agricultural development sectors, as a path towards increased food and nutritional security. After the 2010 earthquake, she has also coordinated the development and implementation of the first integrated protocol for the management of acute malnutrition in Haiti. She remains a strong advocate of the integration of nutritional health needs and concerns in national policies and priorities, as demonstrated with the recent development of a partnership between MSPP, the ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and rural Development (MARNDR), the Ministry of Social Affairs and Work (MAST) and food producers. Finally, Dr Marhone has contributed to serval scientific publications in international journals.

Francesco Moschetta
Challenging Operating Environment, The Global Fund

Francesco Moschetta leads the Challenging Operating Support Team within the Grant Management Division.  He is currently managing the COE initiative that aims to build a platform for knowledge management and partnership on COE across the Global Fund. This initiative also intends to promote tailored and adaptive approaches with enhanced flexibility, innovation, and partnership to ensure Global Fund financing promotes access to essential services and maximizes coverage and impact in these challenging operating environments.

Francesco joined the Global Fund in May 2012 as the Fund Portfolio Manager in Western Africa Region.  Before joining to the Global Fund, Francesco worked over 10 years on emergencies and international development in Africa, Central-Asia and South America with experience working with non-governmental organizations, UN and other government organisations.