A 44-year-old Nigerian medical doctor with extensive experience supporting developing countries in tackling infectious diseases, Obinna Onyekwena, has been appointed as a deputy director in disease advocacy at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, Washington.
Established in 2000 by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and his wife the foundation works to help improve people’s health in developing countries with the ultimate aim of giving them a chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty.
In his new role, Obinna will be responsible for leading the foundation’s strategies and portfolio of investments for increasing political commitment, resourcing, and implementation of HIV, Tuberculosis, Malaria, the Neglected Tropical Diseases and The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
The infectious disease expert earned his medical degree from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and an MSc in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the United Kingdom.
Prior to his appointment, he had an outstanding 10-year career at The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria where he supported the strengthening of national responses to three of the world’s deadliest infectious diseases, HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria – and managed investments that successfully scaled up innovation in delivery of HIV services across Africa and Asia.
An excited Obinna broke the news of his appointment via his Linkedin account on Sunday.
He wrote, “Friends and colleagues, I’m thrilled to share that I will be joining the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as their new Deputy Director, Infectious Disease Advocacy, based in Seattle, Washington”.