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Chairman of the Executive Board

Dr Assad Hafeez is a leading public health specialist and researcher with extensive clinical and management experience in various capacities, spanning over 30 years. He has held various positions in the health sector and has performed leadership, financial, monitoring and strategic guidance roles in international organizations, the public sector and civil society organizations. He is currently the Director-General of Health in the Federal Ministry of Health Services, Regulations and Coordination, Islamabad − the country’s most senior public sector technical post in the field of health. He is the Dean of the Health Services Academy, a public health institution mandated by the Government of Pakistan to provide policy advice and research; he is also the Dean of Faculty of Medicine in Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad. He has been the National Programme Manager of the National Program for Family Planning & Primary Health Care, one of the world’s largest community health workers’ programmes.

Dr Hafeez is a medical graduate with post-graduate studies in paediatrics. He holds a Fellowship of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Pakistan and a Fellowship of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, London. He also has obtained a Masters in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and a PhD in Public Health from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom. He has held a number of clinical and academic posts in national and international institutions. He is on various international technical organizational boards, and is on the editorial boards of a number of reputed journals, in addition to having had more than 80 publications in peer reviewed journals. He is an expert researcher and has completed a number of research grants as Principal Investigator and Co-Principal Investigator with seminal research in the field of Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, health systems and evidence-based policy-making.

Dr Hafeez is currently representing Pakistan on the Executive Board of the World Health Organization (2015−2018). He was elected Vice-Chairman of the Board in May 2015 and Chairman in May 2017. He is also member of WHO Eastern Mediterranean Advisory Committee on Health Research and a member of WHO’s International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee concerning ongoing events and context involving transmission and international spread of poliovirus, in addition to performing a number of other international assignments. He has participated in and led Pakistan’s delegation to Regional Committee meetings and to the World Health Assembly for a number of years.

As Director-General of Health, Dr Hafeez has played a leading role in areas of national importance like the development of National Health Vision 2016−2025, the National Health Information Dashboard, the National Strategic Framework for Containment of Antimicrobial Resistance, the national strategy for the prevention and control of Ebola virus disease, the Government’s poliomyelitis-control efforts, the Joint External Evaluation for the International Health Regulations (2005)/Global Health Security Agenda and many other key tasks of public health importance. Dr Hafeez has also been the key architect/team member in conceiving, designing, implementing and monitoring the first-ever large-scale National Health Insurance Program, with an innovative design covering a population of 100 million beneficiaries. At international level he has been the country lead in setting the agenda of the priority assistive products list for the disabled, launched during the Sixty-ninth World Health Assembly in 2016.

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