PAHO Foundation names new president and CEO, Dr. Jennie Ward-Robinson, native of Barbados

Dr. Jennie Ward-Robinson President and CEO of PAHO

Washington, D.C., 25 July 2014 – The PAHO Foundation—the philanthropic arm of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)—today announced Dr. Jennie Ward-Robinson as its new President and CEO. She will lead the Foundation’s efforts to mobilize resources to support PAHO’s technical cooperation with member countries to improve health and save lives in the Americas.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to contribute in this critical way to the work of the Pan American Health Organization,” said Ward-Robinson, whose career as a nonprofit executive has focused on public health and minority health issues at the national and international levels.

Simone Acha, Chair of the PAHO Foundation Board said, “PAHO has a long and proud history of leadership of international public health efforts, including the elimination of smallpox and polio from the Western Hemisphere. The board and I look forward to working with her and inspiring generosity from all sectors for PAHO to continue its work protecting and promoting the health of everyone in the Americas.”

As President and CEO of the PAHO Foundation, Ward-Robinson will reach out to individuals, foundations, and corporations within the private sector to engage volunteer and financial support for PAHO, the world’s oldest international health agency and the Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Under a new affiliation agreement signed last year, the Foundation’s activities will support PAHO’s efforts in the countries of the Americas to improve health care coverage, reduce the toll from noncommunicable diseases, combat vector-borne and vaccine-preventable diseases, promote patient safety, eliminate cholera, and fight women’s cancers, among others.

In addition, the Foundation and PAHO will continue to sponsor the Inter-American Awards for Excellence in Public Health, which recognize outstanding leaders in public health, veterinary public health, bioethics, and publishing, while also recognizing innovative individuals, programs, institutions, and organizations that are advancing public health in the Americas. 

“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Jennie Ward-Robinson to the PAHO Foundation, and we are confident that she will successfully tap into the tremendous generosity of those who care about the health, dignity and well-being of the people of the Americas,” said PAHO Director Carissa F. Etienne. “We are delighted to see her on board.”

Ward-Robinson has served as Director of Medical and Scientific Affairs of the Alzheimer’s Association, founding CEO and Executive Director of the Institute for Public Health and Water Research, and Associate Professor at The School of Rural Public Health, Texas A&M Health Science Center, Texas A& M University, among other positions. She has also served on the boards of the Institute of Medicine’s Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, EPA’s National Council on Drinking Water, the Alliance for Water Efficiencies, and the Illinois Chapter of the Nature Conservancy.

Ward-Robinson is a native of Barbados who moved to the United States as a young adult. She holds a doctorate in human development from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. 

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