New expert appointments to CEPI’s Board and Scientific Advisory Committee

06 May 2022

By CEPI


■ Five public health and scientific leaders join CEPI Board: Dr L. Rizka Andalucia, Mr. Cyrus Ardalan, Dr Githinji Gitahi, Professor Samba Sow, and Dr. Anita Zaidi

■ Former Head of GSK Vaccine R&D, Dr Emmanuel Hanon, confirmed as next Chair of CEPI Scientific Advisory Committee, and Dr Laura Palomares joins Mr. Michael King as vice-chairs

■ Yasuhisa Shiozaki appointed as CEPI’s first Global Goodwill Ambassador

■ Dr Richard Hatchett re-appointed as CEPI CEO for a second five-year term

06 May 2022, Oslo, Norway – The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations today announced changes and additions to its Board and Scientific Advisory Committee, both of which provide critical oversight of and advice to CEPI.

The new appointments to the CEPI Board are:

■ Dr L. Rizka Andalucia, Director-General for Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices at the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Indonesia, as Board voting member (investor)

■ Cyrus Ardalan, Chairman of OakNorth Bank, Trustee of the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), and a senior adviser at Alvarez and Marsal, as Board voting member (independent)

■ Dr Githinji Gitahi, Group Chief Executive Officer, Amref Health Africa, as Board voting member (independent)

■ Professor Samba Sow, Director General of the Center for Vaccine Development – Mali (CVD-Mali) and former Minister of Health for Mali, as Board voting member (independent)

■ Anita Zaidi, Director of the Vaccine Development, Surveillance, and Enteric and Diarrheal Diseases programs and President, Gender Equality Division, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (investor)

The new appointments to CEPI’s Scientific Advisory Committee are:

■ Dr Emmanuel Hanon, Former Head of Vaccines Research & Development, GSK, and current Head of R&D for Viome, as Chair

■ Dr Laura Palomares, Principal Researcher and Professor, Instituto de Biotecnología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), will join Mr. Michael King as an additional Vice Chair

In addition, CEPI is also pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Yasuhisa Shiozaki (former Member of the House of Representatives, Japan; former Chief Cabinet Secretary in the Government of Japan; and a member of the Global Leaders Group on Antimicrobial Resistance) as CEPI’s first Global Goodwill Ambassador, in recognition of his outstanding commitment to CEPI’s mission and contributions to CEPI’s establishment and growth over many years. In this newly created role, Mr. Shiozaki will represent CEPI internationally in a variety of forums, raising awareness of CEPI’s mission, aspirations, and accomplishments.

Dr Richard Hatchett has also been re-appointed to serve as CEPI CEO for a second five-year term.

The changes to the Board and Scientific Advisory Committee come as existing Board members Professor Baron Peter Piot (former Director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a Handa Professor of Global Health), Dr John Nkengasong (Director of Africa Centre for Disease Control), and Nadine Gbossa (Regional Director, West and Central Africa, International Fund for Agricultural Development), and current Chair of the CEPI Scientific Advisory Committee, Dr Helen Rees (Executive Director of the Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute of the University of Witwatersrand), step down from their positions. The term of Professor Charlotte Watts, Chief Scientific Advisor & Director of Research and Evidence Division, UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, investor Board member, concluded in May 2022. Sir Jeremy Farrar (Director, Wellcome Trust) stepped down from his role in January 2022 as voting Board member (investor) and was directly replaced by Dr Anita Zaidi (President of the Gender Equality Division and Director of Vaccine Development, Global Health Surveillance, Diarrhea and Enteric Diseases at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation).

The appointments were approved during CEPI’s most recent Board Meeting, held on 25-26 April, 2022, in Bergen, Norway.

Welcoming the new appointees, Chair of CEPI, Jane Halton, said:

“CEPI has undergone transformative change since it was first launched in 2017. We have been able to achieve this seismic growth in large part because of the skill, experience, and commitment of our Board and Scientific Advisory  Committee. I would like to thank Prof Baron Peter Piot, Sir Jeremy Farrar, Nadine Gbossa, Dr John Nkengasong, Professor Charlotte Watts, and Dr Helen Rees for their stewardship and wisdom.

“As CEPI moves into an equally exciting and demanding new phase, it is an honour to welcome Dr Githinji Gitahi, Professor Samba Sow, Cyrus Ardalan, Dr Rizka Andalucia, and Dr Anita Zaidi to the CEPI Board, Dr. Emmanuel Hanon, and Dr Laura Palomares to the CEPI Scientific Advisory Committee, and Yasuhisa Shiozaki as CEPI’s Global Goodwill Ambassador.

“As the world continues to grapple with the challenges of this pandemic and we seek to better prepare for the next crisis, these appointments will provide invaluable knowledge and new ways of thinking to further enrich CEPI’s discussions as we push our ambitious plan forward.”

The CEPI Board is the coalition’s primary governing body, providing oversight of the strategy, leadership, performance, and accountability of CEPI. The CEPI Scientific Advisory Committee serve as an independent group providing key guidance and recommendations on CEPI’s vaccine R&D programmes and broader outbreak response efforts. Both groups will provide pivotal expert insight to advance CEPI’s innovative 2022-2026 plan which seeks to reduce the risk of future epidemic and pandemic threats, including CEPI’s ambition to compress vaccine development timelines to 100 days – a third of the time it took to develop the first COVID-19 vaccine.

The new Board members will start in their roles in May 2022 and will serve an initial two-year-term, with a potential for five-year extensions.

The Chair and second Vice-Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee will start in their roles May 2022 and will each serve an initial three-year term.

The Global Goodwill Ambassador position will be effective immediately.

Bios

CEPI Board:

Dr Githinji Gitahi since 2015, Dr.Githinji Gitahi is the Group Chief Executive Officer of Amref Health Africa, the largest Africa-based healthcare nonprofit. Dr. Gitahi is also the PMNCH Strategy Advocacy Committee Co-Chair as well as Governing Board Member of Africa Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC). Dr Gitahi is also the former Co-Chair of the UHC2030 Steering Committee, a global World Bank and World Health Organization (WHO) initiative for Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and a member of the Unilever Sustainability Advisory Council. He serves on a number of Boards and a member of the Commission/ Taskforce on Africa’s COVID-19 Response. In 2018, Dr. Gitahi was bestowed the 2018 ‘Moran of the Order of the Burning Spear’ (MBS) by the President of Kenya, in recognition of his outstanding contribution and commitment to the health sector.

Professor Samba Sow is a medical doctor and epidemiologist and Director of CVD-Mali. During his career, he has made substantial contributions to basic vaccinology, bacterial pathogenesis, clinical research, field epidemiology, and public health policy in Mali and in Sub-Saharan Africa. Professor Sow was Minister of Health and Public Hygiene for Mali between April 2017 and May 2019 and instituted a series of visionary health sector reforms, to provide free antenatal and maternal healthcare as well as free care for children under five years old. In 2020, he was appointed WHO Special Envoy for Covid-19 in West Africa, to provide strategic advice and high-level political advocacy and engagement in different parts of the world.  In the course of his work, Sow has received numerous honours, including the French Legion of Honor and the National Order of Merit in 2017 for his work on the Ebola epidemic. He also received the 2000 Paul Laviron Prize in Tropical Medicine from the University of Marseille (France) and was the Commemorative Fund Lecturer of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in 2006.

Cyrus Ardalan is currently Chairman of OakNorth Bank a UK challenger bank, Chairman of LXI REIT PLC, a FTSE 250 closed-end real estate investment company, a Trustee of the Charities Aid Foundation Chairing its financial services subsidiary and a Senior Adviser to Alvarez and Marsal. He is also the co-founder of the Humanitarian Finance Forum (HFF). Prior to his retirement, Mr Ardalan spent 15 years at Barclays Bank as a Vice Chairman, at Paribas where he held a number of senior management roles and at the World Bank where he was a Division Chief in the treasury. He has also been Chairman of Citigroup’s international investment banking subsidiary, Citigroup Global Markets Limited, Chairman of the International Financing Facility for Immunization a multilateral development agency, Chairman of the International Capital Markets Association (ICMA), a board member for the Dubai International Financial Centre and a Senior Adviser to the Rock Creek Group. Mr Ardalan has a bachelor’s degree from University College London and a postgraduate degree from Oxford University in economics.

Dr. L. Rizka Andalucia is the Director-General for Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices at the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Indonesia. In this position, she has been praised for the work to ensure the roll-out of the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination for the 270 million Indonesians. She is currently chairing the G20 Health Working Group 3, for pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response. She leads effective liaisons with multiple stakeholders involved in the regulatory framework for vaccine research and development, encompassing the academic, private, public, and civil society organizations. Dr. Rizka remains a researcher, involved in basic and translational research in the field of pharmacogenomics, oncology, and infectious disease. She fully understands the end-to-end process from research, development and manufacturing of vaccines and other biologic countermeasures. She is passionate in building a sustainable R&D and manufacturing ecosystem in the Global South. Previous to her appointment at the MoH, Dr. Rizka had an extensive leadership role at the Indonesian Food and Drug Administration (FDA), serving as the Director of Drug Registration. She is involved in various national and international professional organizations, including as the past Vice-Chair of ASEAN Consultative Committee for Standards and Quality – Pharmaceutical Product Working Group and representing Indonesia in The International Council for Harmonisation of Technical Requirements for Pharmaceuticals for Human Use (ICH).

Dr Anita Zaidi is the president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Gender Equality Division and also serves as the Foundation’s director of the Vaccine Development, Surveillance, and Enteric and Diarrheal Diseases programs. Since joining the Foundation in 2014, she has led a team focused on vaccine development for people in the poorest parts of the world, surveillance to identify and address causes of death in children in the most under-served areas, and significantly reducing the adverse consequences of diarrheal and enteric infections on children’s health in low and middle-income countries. Previously, Anita was the department chair of Pediatrics and Child Health at the Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan, where she worked to reduce child mortality through the prevention and treatment of illness. She obtained her medical degree specializing in pediatric infectious diseases at Aga Khan University, and completed further trainings at Duke University, Boston’s Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and the Harvard School of Public Health. In 2013, Anita became the first recipient of the $1 million Caplow Children’s Prize for her pioneering work bringing health services and wraparound care to mothers and children in poverty-stricken communities in Karachi. She was also nominated as a notable physician of the year in 2014 by Medscape. In 2021, Anita was honored to have both received the Jimmy and Rosalynn Cater Humanitarian Award (National Foundation for Infectious Diseases) and selected to become a member of the National Academy of Medicine.

 

CEPI Scientific Advisory Committee:

Dr Emmanuel Hanon is a Research & Development leader with more than 20 years’ experience in the life sciences industry. He is currently Head of R&D for Viome, a precision medicine company focussing on the prevention, treatment, and cure of chronic disorders. Prior to his role at Viome, Emmanuel spent seven years as Senior Vice President running Global Vaccine R&D for GSK. At present, Emmanuel serves as a Board Member to ViceBio, and Scientific Advisory Committee Member to GreenLight Biosciences and Vaxcyte. He is also Founder and Owner of Axis 44, providing vaccine R&D consultancy across portfolio prioritisation, vaccine design, regulatory, medical strategy, and other operations. Emmanuel has broad functional leadership experience including R&D, medical, clinical, regulatory, technical CMC, manufacturing, and quality operations, with expertise in immunology, microbiology, and vaccinology. He has a doctoral degree in Veterinary Medicine from the Université de Liège  and postdoctoral degrees from Université de Liège and Imperial College London.

 

Dr Laura Palomares is a Biochemical Engineer from the Monterrey Institute of Technology, Mexico. She has a doctoral degree in Biochemical Engineering from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and pursued postdoctoral training at the School of Chemical Engineering at Cornell University working with. She is the Director of the Biotechnology Institute of UNAM, where she is also a Professor, Principal Investigator, and Group Leader. She is a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of CEPI, was a member of the Subcommittee for the Evaluation of Biotechnological Products of COFEPRIS (Mexican regulatory agency), and a founding expert of the Mexican Pharmacopoeia. She collaborates with several companies in Mexico and abroad on process development to produce recombinant proteins with pharmaceutical applications. Her work has been recognized with the most prestigious awards for scientists in Mexico, such as the Award of the Mexican Academy of Sciences, the award to outstanding young faculty (DUNJA) given by UNAM, and the Premio Universidad Nacional. She was the leader of teams that were recognized by the CANIFARMA Veterinaria award (veterinary vaccine development, rotavirus, and influenza) for two consecutive years, and the State of Morelos Merit Award (rotavirus vaccine development, nanobiotechnology, and technology transfer to produce a monoclonal antibody), for three years. She received the Interciencia Award in Life Sciences in 2014. All these awards were presented for her work in Technology and Innovation.

 

CEPI Global Goodwill Ambassador:

Yasuhisa Shiozaki is a former Member of the House of Representatives (1993-1995, 2000-2021 ), a former Member of the House of Councillors (1995-2000) of Japan. He served as Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare from 2014 to 2017, Chief Cabinet Secretary and Minister of State for the Abduction Issue from 2006 to 2007, Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs from 2005 to 2006 and Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Finance from 1997 to 1998. He was Chairman of the Standing Committee on Judicial Affairs of the House of Representatives, Senior Director of the Standing Committee on Budget. Prior to his transition to politics, he worked at the Bank of Japan (Central Bank) for 11 years. He is a member of the Global Leaders Group on Antimicrobial Resistance. He received his bachelor’s degree in American Studies from the University of Tokyo in 1975 and his master’s degree in public administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 1982.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

The CEPI Board is composed of 12 voting members (four investors and eight independent members representing competencies including industry, global health, science, resource mobilisation, finance) and five observers. CEPI also has four Board Committees: Executive and Investment, Nominations, Compensation, Diversity and Inclusion, Audit and Risk, and Equitable Access.

The CEPI Investors Council includes one representative from each of CEPI’s investors contributing to CEPI’s funding pool. Representatives serve on the Council for the duration of their pledged commitment. The Council nominates Investor representatives to the Board.

The CEPI Scientific Advisory Committee is comprised of thirty-four expert individuals from a broad range of key disciplines—including epidemiology, vaccine development, vaccine manufacturing, public health, and regulatory sciences.

The CEPI Board is advised on decisions, such as prioritising pathogens and selecting development partners, by CEPI’s Scientific Advisory Committee. Final decision-making about the issues addressed by the Scientific Advisory Committee rests with CEPI staff or the CEPI Board.

Further information on CEPI’s Board, Investors Council, and Scientific Advisory Committee and their members is available on the CEPI website.

 

About CEPI

CEPI is an innovative partnership between public, private, philanthropic, and civil organisations, launched at Davos in 2017, to develop vaccines against future epidemics. Prior to COVID-19, CEPI’s work focused on developing vaccines against the Ebola Virus Disease, Lassa virus, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus, Nipah virus, Rift Valley Fever virus and Chikungunya virus. It has over 20 vaccine candidates against these pathogens in development. CEPI has also invested in new platform technologies for rapid vaccine development against unknown pathogens (Disease X).

During the current pandemic, CEPI initiated multiple programmes to develop vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 and its variants with a focus on speed, scale and access. These programmes leverage the rapid response platforms developed by CEPI’s partners prior to the emergence of COVID-19, as well as new collaborations. The aim is to advance clinical development of a diverse portfolio of safe and effective COVID-19 candidates and to enable fair allocation of these vaccines worldwide through COVAX.

CEPI’s 5-year plan lays out a $3.5 billion roadmap to compress vaccine development timelines to 100 days, develop a broadly protective vaccine against COVID-19 and other Betacoronaviruses, and create a “library” of vaccine candidates for use against known and unknown pathogens. The plan is available at http://endpandemics.cepi.net.

Follow our news page for the latest updates. Follow us via @CEPIvaccines@DrRHatchett, and on LinkedIn.

 

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