Conversations in Global Health

Conversations in Global Health are a series of events that introduces leading practitioners in global health and their work to the Stanford community. These short talks are conducted in an interview-style by Paul Costello, Stanford Medicine chief communications officer, and are designed to encourage dialogue about the challenges and success factors for programs focusing on public health issues in resource-poor settings from a variety of perspectives including: policy, funding, implementation, product design, evaluation. These are typically held once a quarter at lunchtime and evenings and are open to the entire university and to the public.


February 28, 2018

Steve Davis, MA, JD

5:00 - 6:00 pm | Lecture Hall C102 (Wells Classroom), Stanford Graduate School of Business Knight Management Center

As president and CEO of PATH, Steve Davis combines his extensive experience as a technology business leader, global health advocate, and social innovator to accelerate great ideas and bring lifesaving solutions to scale. He oversees PATH’s work of driving transformative global health innovation to save and improve lives, reaching 219 million people in 2013.

Davis’ long-standing commitment to human rights and global development grew from his early work on refugee programs and policies, and from his later focus on Chinese politics and law. He has employed that same passion as a leader and strategist for a range of private and nonprofit companies and international organizations, including as CEO of internet pioneer and global digital media firm Corbis, director of social innovation for McKinsey & Company, and interim CEO of the Infectious Disease Research Institute. Earlier in his career, he practiced law at the international law firm of K&L Gates with a focus on intellectual property.

Davis is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and holds a faculty appointment as a lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.  He currently serves on the boards of InterAction and Global Partnerships, and sits on several advisory groups, including the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Social Innovation, the Clinton Global Initiative’s Global Health Advisory Board, the Council on Foreign Relation’s Task Force on Noncommunicable Diseases, and Welcome Trust’s Sustaining Health Dialogue. He previously has served on numerous corporate and non-profit boards.


November 10, 2017

Agnes Binagwaho, MD, M(Ped), PhD

12:30 - 1:30 pm | Lecture Hall G102 (Rachleff Classroom), Stanford Graduate School of Business

Join us for a conversation with Professor Agnes Binagwaho, MD, M(Ped), PhD, Rwanda’s longest-serving Minister of Health, known for leading a remarkable transformation in Rwanda’s health sector. She is currently Vice Chancellor for the University of Global Health Equity, a new university based in Rwanda that is building the next generation of global health professionals—doctors, nurses, researchers, and public health and policy experts—into leaders and changemakers who strive to deliver more equitable, quality health services for all. 

Prof. Binagwaho is a Rwandan pediatrician who completed her MD at the Universite Libre de Bruxelles and her MA in Pediatrics MA at the Universite de Bretagne Occidentale. She was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science from Dartmouth College and earned a Doctorate of Philosophy from the University of Rwanda College of Business and Economics.

She worked 20 years in the public health sector in Rwanda and has held an array of leadership and advisory positions on national and international scale. From 2002-2016, she served the Rwandan Health Sector in high-level government positions, first as the Executive Secretary of Rwanda's National AIDS Control Commission, then as Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, and then five years as Minister of Health. She is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and an Adjunct Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine. Prof. Binagwaho was named Vice Chancellor of the University of Global Health Equity in 2017.

March 28, 2017

David L. Heymann, MD

4:30 - 5:30 pm | Clark Center Auditorium

Event recap available here. 

Join us for a conversation with Professor David L. Heymann, renowned leader in global health and security, to hear about his life and career in which headed the global response to SARS and worked on the first and second outbreaks of Ebola.

Prof. Heymann is Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; Head of the Centre on Global Health Security at Chatham House and Chairman of the Board, Public Health England. Previously he was the World Health Organization's Assistant Director-General for Health Security and Environment, and Representative of the Director-General for polio eradication. 

From 1998 to 2003 he was Executive Director of the WHO Communicable Diseases Cluster during which he headed the global response to SARS. Before joining WHO, Prof Heymann worked for 13 years as a medical epidemiologist in sub-Saharan Africa on assignment from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) where, as well as supporting ministries of health in research, he participated in the first and second outbreaks of Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever.

Prior to joining CDC, Prof. Heymann worked in India for two years in the WHO Smallpox Eradication Programme. He is an elected fellow of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies (United States) and the Academy of Medical Sciences (United Kingdom), and has been awarded several public health awards.

In 2009 Prof. Heymann was appointed an honorary Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) for service to global public health.

September 28, 2016

Kennedy Odede & Jessica Posner Odede

4:00 - 5:00 pm | Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge, Room 120

Event recap and video recording available here

Kennedy Odede grew up in the Kibera slum of Nairobi, the largest slum in Africa. Homeless from age 10, Kennedy had no formal education until, through extraordinary acts of persistence and sheer will power – and the advocacy of his now-wife Jessica Posner Odede – Kennedy was admitted to Wesleyan University, graduated in four years, gave the graduation speech, and is now on Wesleyan’s Board of Trustees.  Together, Kennedy and Jessica founded and lead Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO), a grass-roots organization that provides a growing range of services and opportunities to slum dwellers in Kibera and throughout Africa. They operate a K-8 school for girls, a community water system, public toilets, a savings co-op program, women’s empowerment programs and a growing series of health clinics. 

In addition to leading SHOFCO, Kennedy and Jessica are New York Times best selling authors of the story of their lives, Find Me Unafraid; Love, Loss and Hope in an African Slums. Kennedy has been honored as a Forbes 2014 "30 under 30" Social Entrepreneur, an Aspen Institute New Voice Fellow, and a Clinton Global Initiative Fellow, among many other honors. Jessica was selected as "America's Top World Changer 25 and Under" by VH1, has been featured in numerous columns by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, and is the youngest alumnae in the history of Wesleyan University to be recognized with its Distinguished Alumni Award. Both Kennedy and Jessica have received the prestigious Echoing Green Fellow designation.

May 18, 2016

Nancy Snyderman, MD, FACS

4:30-5:30 pm | Munzer Auditorium, Beckman Center (Room B060)

Tune in for a podcast and summary of the conversation available here

Renowned journalist, physician and bestselling author, Nancy Snyderman, MD, FACS, will share insights from her storied career covering global health and medicine in conversation with Paul Costello, chief communications officer for Stanford Medicine.

For almost three decades, Dr. Snyderman has combined her experience as a head and neck cancer surgeon, network television correspondent and advisor to Fortune 500 corporations, and is one of the most trusted voices in medical communication.

As former chief medical correspondent for NBC News and a medical journalist for ABC News, she has traveled the world extensively and has reported from some of the world’s most troubled areas. Her reporting has garnered her some of the industry’s most distinguished honors including Emmy, DuPont, Edward R. Murrow and Gracie awards. She is also a New York Times bestselling author, having written five books.

Dr. Snyderman completed medical school at the University of Nebraska Medical School and went on to become one of the first women in the country to specialize in Head and Neck Surgery. She recently joined Stanford as a Consulting Professor for Global Health in the School of Medicine and co-founded the Stanford-NBC News Global Media Fellowship (now the Stanford-ABC News Global Health & Media Fellowship). She is also a Consulting Professor of Medical Communication in the School of Public Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Read more.

October 8, 2015

Anita Zaidi, MD, director of the Enteric and Diarrheal Diseases Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

4:30 - 5:30  pm I Clark Center Auditorium

Tune in for a podcast and summary of the conversation available here

Join us for a conversation with Anita Zaidi, MD, an internationally renowned pediatrician and director, Enteric and Diarrheal Diseases (EDD) program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In a Q&A with Stanford Medicine's chief communications officer, Paul Costello, we'll hear more about Dr. Zaidi's life, work and timely issues impacting the health of children around the world.

In her role at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Dr. Zaidi leads a team focused on eliminating diarrheal diseases mortality and significantly reducing the adverse consequences of diarrheal and enteric infections on children’s health in low and middle-income countries.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Dr. Zaidi was the Ruby and Karim Bahudar Ali Jessani Professor and Chair, Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, at the Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan. In 2013, Anita became the first recipient of the $1 million Caplow Children’s Prize for work in one of Karachi’s poverty stricken fishing communities to save children’s lives. She was nominated as a notable physician of the year in 2014 by Medscape. Read more

April 9, 2015

Chris Elias, MD, MPH, president of the Global Development Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

5:30 - 6:30  pm I Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge, Room 120

Event recap and video replay available here

Dr. Chris Elias will join Paul Costello, Stanford Medicine's chief communications officer, for a conversation that will touch on Dr. Elias's long career in health & medicine, his work as the president of the Global Development Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and current issues in global health.  

March 4, 2015

Gavin Yamey, MD, MPH, MA, MRCP of the University of California-San Francisco

4:00 - 5:00 pm I Li Ka Shing Center for Learning and Knowledge, Room 120

Event recap and video replay available here

A leading global health researcher and former journalist, Dr. Gavin Yamey will speak with Paul Costello, Stanford Medicine's chief communications officer, on timely and pressing issues in global health.

Dr. Gavin Yamey is associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the UCSF School of Medicine and is Lead of the Evidence-to-Policy-Initiative (E2Pi) in the UCSF Global Health Group, which works to narrow the gap between evidence and action in global health policy.

A frequent policy advisor to international ministers of health, Dr. Yamey was one of the founding editors of PLOS Medicine and PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, the first open-access journal devoted specifically to neglected diseases endemic to tropical regions.  He currently serves on two international health commissions - the Lancet Commission on Investing in Health and the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery - and led the writing of Global Health 2035, the Lancet Commission on Investing in Health’s 2013 report, which provides a roadmap for how dramatic gains in global health might be achieved by 2035. Dr. Yamey has written extensively on global health, neglected diseases, health policy, inequalities and disparities in health with over 100 published articles in peer-reviewed journals.