Debrework Zewdie Appointed to TB Alliance’s Board of Directors Accomplished Global Health Leader brings development and international health expertise

May 27, 2013

TB Alliance, a not-for-profit organization with the mission of developing better, faster-acting, and affordable TB treatments, announces the election of Debrework Zewdie, PhD to its Board of Directors. Dr. Zewdie is a deeply accomplished global health leader, and brings significant expertise to the organization.

“I’ve dedicated my career to improving public health and tackling some of the developing world’s most difficult health issues,” said Dr. Zewdie. “However, we cannot defeat tuberculosis without new tools. I look forward to helping TB Alliance advance its mission, particularly at this important time in its history when it has a very promising late-stage pipeline and is poised for impact.”

Dr. Zewdie recently returned to the World Bank as Senior Advisor, President’s Office Special Envoy after serving a three-year assignment as the Deputy, Executive Director and COO at the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis. While at the Global Fund, Dr. Zewdie co-lead the Organizational restructuring and realizing of corporate priorities by instituting efficient and effective ways of doing business. In addition, she was responsible for the day to day running of the institution, planning, organizational strategy, and accountability and served as a member of the Executive Committee. Earlier in her career, Dr. Zewdie was the Director of the Global HIV/AIDS Program at the World Bank who pioneered the Bank’s engagement in fighting the HIV/AIDS pandemic and led the Bank’s effort in providing the first billion dollars for fighting HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to the Bank, she was Deputy Regional Director of the Africa Region for the AIDS Control and Prevention project (AIDSCAP) of Family Health International in Nairobi, Kenya. She has also served as Deputy Director, and later Acting Director, of the National Research Institute of Health in Ethiopia. A clinical immunologist by training, Dr. Zewdie also established and headed the Referral Laboratory for HIV/AIDS in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, served as Program Manager of Ethiopia's AIDS/STD Prevention and Control Program, and taught immunology to medical students at Addis Ababa University.

“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Zewdie to the Board of the TB Alliance,” said Dr. Carlos Morel, Chairman of the Board for TB Alliance and Director of the Center for Technological Development in Health (CDTS) of FIOCRUZ. “Her global perspective and expertise will be invaluable, particularly as the organization prepares for introduction and uptake of new and improved TB regimens.”

Throughout her career, Dr. Zewdie has held several research, management, and teaching positions focusing on public health issues. Dr. Zewdie received her PhD in Clinical Immunology from the University of London and was a Senior MacArthur Fellow at Harvard University's School of Population and Development Studies. She has published numerous journal articles and book chapters on a variety of public health subjects, and has lived and worked all over the world, including 16 countries in Africa.

Tuberculosis (TB) is a global pandemic, killing someone every 25 seconds — nearly 1.4 million in 2011 alone. The World Health Organization estimates that two billion people — one third of the world's population — are infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb), the bacillus that causes the disease. Today's TB drug regimens take too long to cure, are complicated to administer, and can be toxic. New drug regimens are urgently needed to reduce TB and stop the spread of drug-resistant TB.