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“Our goal must be a world in which good health is a pillar of individual well-being, national progress, and international stability and peace. This cannot be achieved without partnerships involving governments, international organizations, the business community, and civil society.”

— Kofi A. Annan, ex-Secretary-General of the United Nations

About the Foundation 

Dr. Derek Yach, MBChB, DSC, M.P.H.


Dr. Derek Yach is Director of Global Health Policy at PepsiCo. Previously, he headed global health at the Rockefeller Foundation and Division of Global Health at Yale University, been professor of public health, and is a former Executive Director of the World Health Organization (WHO). 

He spearheaded efforts to build an analytical framework for assessing the impacts of globalization on health to find ways of improving global health. At the WHO, Dr. Yach served as cabinet director under Director-General Gro Harlem Brundtland. He helped place tobacco control, nutrition, and chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, prominently on the agenda of governments, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector. Dr. Yach also led development of WHO’s first treaty, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, and the development of Global Strategy on Diet and Physical Activity.

Dr. Yach is a South African national. He established the Centre for Epidemiological Research at the South African Medical Research Council, which focused on quantifying inequalities and the impact of urbanization on health. He has authored or co-authored over 200 articles covering the breadth of global health issues.

Dr. Yach received his medical degree from the University of Cape Town Medical School, and his masters degree in public health from The Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health. Further, he has an honorary doctorate in science from Georgetown University. In addition to his commitment to global health, his passions include playing with his son and long distance sea swimming.

Dr. Yach joined the board of the Pan American Health and Education Foundation in 2007.

Dr. Yach signed a conflict of interest statement and agrees to abide by PAHEF's conflict of interest policy.