I am pleased to announce the appointment of Jaime Sepúlveda, MD, MPH, DrSc, as Executive Director of UCSF Global Health Sciences. Dr. Sepúlveda is a world-renowned leader in public health, with extensive international experience and a record of tackling enormous public health issues with a measurable impact.
Dr. Sepúlveda is currently Director of Special Initiatives for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he has played a central role in shaping the foundation’s overall global health strategy as part of its executive team. Prior to this position, he received the 2007 UCSF President’s Award and conducted a nine-month sabbatical here on campus, during which he convened a coalition of international health leaders to focus on how to best train the next generation to meet the world’s health needs in the 21st century.
From 2003 to 2006, Dr. Sepúlveda was Director of Mexico’s National Institutes of Health, overseeing 12 institutes with 35,000 employees and a $1 billion budget. He had previously been elected twice to serve as Director General of one of those institutes—the National Institute of Public Health—and also was Dean of the National School of Public Health, one of Latin America’s most renowned academic institutions in the field.
Among his greatest legacies to date is Dr. Sepúlveda’s design and leadership of Mexico’s universal vaccination program, during his tenure as Mexico’s Director General of Epidemiology (1985-1991) and Vice Minister of Health (1991-1994). Under his guidance, Mexico’s vaccination rate more than doubled to 94 percent of preschool children in just two years, effectively eliminating polio, measles and diphtheria. His leadership also is credited with developing a coordinated response to the AIDS epidemic, translating into one of the lowest national rates in the world, and with wiping out cholera throughout Mexico.
Dr. Sepúlveda received his medical degree from the National Autonomous University of Mexico and his doctorate and two master’s degrees from Harvard University. In 2004, he was named a member of the Institute of Medicine, of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.
UCSF is facing an exciting era in global health, with a student body that is committed to caring for the underserved throughout the world and faculty members who oversee projects in more than 100 countries. Global Health Sciences has built on that strength by creating educational programs on campus, serving as the hub of the UC Global Health Institute and forging alliances with universities worldwide. As we continue to build upon the Global Health legacy established by former UCSF Chancellor Haile T. Debas and expanded upon by Sir Richard Feachem, Dr. Sepúlveda’s talents for fostering collaborations on campus and abroad will be an invaluable asset.
Please join me in welcoming Jaime Sepúlveda when he starts his new role on September 1.
Susan Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor