Bruce Aylward

Assistant Director-General, Universal Health Coverage and Life Course

Bruce Aylward drives WHO’s agenda to make primary health care available to all without financial hardship, and oversees WHO’s work on health systems, immunization and reproductive, maternal and child health.

Prior to taking up this position, as Senior Advisor to the Director-General and Assistant Director-General ad interim, External Relations and Governance, Dr Aylward led WHO’s governance, resource mobilisation and partner relations, while overseeing WHO’s Transformation Agenda and initiatives such as the Access to COVID 19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A) and Secretariat to the G20 Joint Finance Health Task Force.

Dr Aylward has 30 years of experience with WHO, primarily in immunization, disease eradication, health emergencies and humanitarian crises. He has worked at all three levels of WHO serving in a range of leadership positions, including as Director of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, Assistant Director-General of the Polio and Emergencies Cluster, Executive Director of the WHO Emergencies Programme, and Deputy Director-General for the West Africa Ebola Response. He has also served as Special Representative of the Director-General to the United Nations Emergency Ebola Response (UNMEER). Dr Aylward led the establishment of the new WHO Emergencies Programme and managed the reform of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Dr Aylward is a physician and epidemiologist with a Medical Doctorate from the Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada, a Diploma from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and his Master of Public Health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore (USA).

Last updated: 1 Jun 2023

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