Jaime Sepúlveda, MD, DSc, MPH

Executive Director, Global Health Sciences

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Portrait of Jaime Sepulveda

Dr. Jaime Sepúlveda is currently Executive Director of Global Health Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Before joining UCSF, Jaime was a Director and member of the Foundation Leadership Team at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He served there as a Senior Fellow in the Global Health Program, and as a deputy to Global Health President, Dr. Tachi Yamada, playing a central role in shaping the foundation’s overall global health strategy as part of its executive team. He also served as Director of Special Initiatives in the Global Health Program.Sepulveda worked closely with key Gates foundation partners—including the GAVI Alliance, where he chaired the Executive Committee—to increase access to vaccines and other effective health solutions in developing countries. In that capacity, Dr. Sepulveda played an important role in raising $4.3 billion USD in the GAVI pledging conference in London on June 2011.

Before joining the foundation, Dr. Sepúlveda spent a sabbatical year as Visiting Professor at UCSF, having received the 2007 Presidential Chair award at UCSF. From 2003 to 2006, Jaime was Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) of Mexico. As Director, he was responsible for setting policy and for planning, managing, and coordinating the programs and activities of all the NIH institutes, as well as overseeing an intra-mural operational budget of close to one billion dollars per year.

Prior to this appointment, Dr. Sepúlveda was elected Director General of the National Institute of Public Health (INSP) – one of the twelve institutes under the leadership of NIH – in February of 1995, and was reelected to a second term in 2000. During this time, he concomitantly served as the Dean of the National School of Public Health (NSPH), where he led the oldest and one of the most renowned academic institutions in Latin America dedicated to research and education in public health.

Dr. Sepúlveda’s broad leadership experience ranges from managing public health institutions and programs in Mexico to working with international academic institutions and organizations. Some of his key achievements as Director General of Epidemiology (1985-1991) and as Vice-Minister of Health (1991-1994) include strengthening the country’s epidemiologic surveillance system by establishing with the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) the Epidemiology Intelligence Service, which has trained hundreds of field epidemiologist along with the development of a network of state laboratories. All this has been complemented with a National Health Survey System, which has so far produced over a dozen large national surveys that have guided national health policy. He also designed the Universal Vaccination Program, which successfully eliminated polio, measles and diphtheria from Mexico by increasing coverage for preschool vaccination from 45 to 94% in just two years.

In 1986, Dr. Sepúlveda founded the National AIDS Council/CONASIDA, which he directed until 1994. The early and aggressive AIDS prevention campaigns in Mexico resulted in having one of the lowest HIV/AIDS prevalence rates in the American region. In recognition of his work on the prevention of AIDS transmission in blood banks and the development of AIDS awareness campaigns among sexual workers, he received the Red Cross Award in 1989.

Dr. Sepúlveda was elected to the Harvard Board of Overseers (2002-2008), where he is a member of the Executive Committee. He was elected a member of the Institute of Medicine of the US National Academy of Sciences. He served as a member on the Advisory Council for the Fogarty International Center (FIC) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) of the United States, and as Chair of the Advisory Committee to the Editors (ACE) to the World Bank/Gates/Fogarty/World Health Organization (WHO) Disease Control Priorities Project (DCPP).

Dr. Sepúlveda obtained his Medical Degree at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in 1978, followed by a Master in Public Health in 1980, a Master of Science in Tropical Medicine in 1981, and a Doctorate in Population Science in 1985, all from the Harvard University School of Public Health. He has published over 20 books, 30 book chapters and more than 180 national and international scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals.