Global Health Council Taps a “Passionate Voice for the Voiceless” as Its New Executive Director

Dr. Christine Sow Is First Woman to Lead Influential Group

Alexandria, VA (October 28, 2013) – The Global Health Council, a network of leading organizations dedicated to saving lives and improving the health of the world’s poorest people, has named a veteran of UNICEF, USAID, and other global health organizations as its new executive director.

Dr. Christine Sow is an internationally-recognized advocate for global health, with more than 20 years of US and international leadership experience, especially in improving women’s and girls’ quality of life in resource-poor settings. Trained as a demographer and holder of a Ph.D. in epidemiology, Dr. Sow has led many initiatives to strengthen health systems and increase access to life-saving drugs and facilities.

At GHC, her overall mission will be to build effective partnerships among global health stakeholders and advocate for major-donor-funded health initiatives. She will lead GHC’s efforts to respond to members’ needs and promote a unified call for sustained funding and resources for global health.

Dr. Sow also will have the noteworthy distinction of being the first woman to lead the organization in its 41-year history.

Said Dr. Jonathan Quick, Board Chair for GHC: “Dr. Sow brings a wealth of on-the-ground global health expertise along with the leadership experience needed to drive GHC’s strategy and growth. We are looking forward to working with her to expand GHC’s positive global health impact and advance our members’ voices.”

Leaders of the global health community are praising the selection:

  • “Christine is a committed global health leader and a passionate voice for the voiceless,” said Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS. “UNAIDS looks forward to working with her towards our shared global health goal of ensuring no one is left behind.”
  • Dr. Akudo Anyanwu Ikemba, CEO of Friends Africa and a Board Member for GHC, stated: “Friends Africa and other African member organizations of the GHC welcome Dr. Sow’s appointment and look forward to supporting her efforts to strengthen the organization. She brings a tremendous amount of experience and an array of skills, including her in-depth experience from working in Africa.”

Previously, Dr. Sow served as Vice President of International Programs at Plan International USA, where she oversaw the nonprofit organization’s division in charge of institutional fundraising and technical support of major programs. In that role she also participated as a delegate to the World Bank’s Civil Society Consultative Group for Health, Nutrition and Population.

Before joining Plan, Dr. Sow served as Chief of the Child Survival Section of UNICEF’s country program in Mali, where she led a team of 30 professionals. Throughout her time in Mali, Dr. Sow provided technical assistance to national policy development within the health sector, specifically focusing on scaling-up community health strategies. She served as vice-chair of the Malian National Malaria Control Program’s oversight committee and supervised UNICEF’s contributions to the implementation of the International Health Partnership Compact in Mali.

Dr. Sow also has served as the Country Coordinating Mechanism Chair for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Mali; Health Team Leader and Senior Public Health Advisor for the USAID mission in Mali; Chief of Party and Cote d’Ivoire Country Director for Family Health International; and Senior Technical Officer for Evaluation, Surveillance and Epidemiological Research for Family Health International in Arlington, Virginia.

Drawing upon her extensive experience in the public health field and partnership development, Dr. Sow has assumed a variety of leadership and advocacy roles, working with key international health actors at both the global and national levels. Dr. Sow possesses expertise in HIV/AIDS, maternal and child health programs, and advocacy, strategy development, oversight and budgetary management.

Dr. Sow received her Master of Public Health and Master of Arts from the University of Michigan and her PhD from Tulane University. She is bilingual in English and French.



About Global Health Council

Established in 1972, Global Health Council (GHC) is a membership alliance dedicated to saving lives and improving the health of sick and vulnerable people around the world. The organization has represented the shared voice of the global health community for more than 40 years, convening stakeholders around critical global health priorities and actively engaging key decision makers to influence policy. In January 2013, GHC members elected a new Board of Directors to help GHC refine its priorities in order to better respond to the shifting global health landscape. Learn more at

Follow GHC on Twitter or “Like” us on Facebook.

About Global Impact

Global Impact raises funds to meet critical humanitarian needs around the world. In partnership with nearly 100 major corporations and more than 300 public sector entities, Global Impact provides funding to more than 80 U.S.-based international charities through innovative partnerships and employee giving programs. The organization also provides advisory services and solutions to meet the unique giving needs of organizations and donors. Global Impact serves as the secretariat of the Global Health Council and the Hilton Humanitarian Prize Laureates Collaborative, as well as administrator for one of the world’s largest workplace giving campaigns, the Combined Federal Campaign-Overseas (CFC-O). Since 1956, Global Impact has generated more than $1.6 billion to help the world’s most vulnerable people. Learn more at

Follow Global Impact on Twitter or “Like” us on Facebook.

Press Contacts

Please contact