Global Health Program

The Global Health Program at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) provides independent, evidence-based analysis and recommendations to help policymakers, business leaders, journalists, and the general public meet the health challenges of a globalized world.

Today, health issues that were once confined to one country or region can affect millions of people everywhere as infectious diseases cross borders with trade and travel. Diabetes, cancers, and other noncommunicable diseases that once predominantly afflicted affluent countries are on the rise in developing countries and a threat to global economic development. Advances in science and technology bring new hope for understanding viruses, synthetic biology, and gene therapy, but raise risks of bioterror and accidental release. Climate change, urbanization, and the still nascent regulatory and health care systems in emerging economies have put a new set of health challenges—from food insecurity, antibiotic resistance, and environmental pollution to road safety, tobacco use, and substandard medicines—on the agenda for policymakers, businesses, and local communities.

The world's changing health needs place new demands on international institutions and initiatives. Global health programs have made enormous progress treating HIV/AIDS, preventing childhood illnesses, and improving maternal health, but more remains to be done even as the long-term financing for these initiatives is in doubt. The engagement of new actors in global health—from philanthropic foundations to NGOs to multinational corporations—has created opportunities for partnership but also challenges of coordination and policy coherence. Although health spending is increasing in developing countries, in China and India in particular, the engagement of these countries in global health governance remains limited.

Addressing these and other global health challenge requires evidence-based analysis and informed decision-making. Through rigorous research, practical policy proposals, and extensive discussions with policymakers, , experts, and opinion leaders, the CFR Global Health Program facilitates timely debate and better understanding of pressing global health topics.

Featured Projects

Project on Universal Health Coverage

Director: Yanzhong Huang, Senior Fellow for Global Health
January 1, 2012—Present

This project addresses the need for and examines the means to achieving universal health coverage. A series of four meetings will take place, and the project will culminate in a report on the topic, in April 2012.

This project is made possible by the generous support of the Rockefeller Foundation.

Featured Publications

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Meetings

Roundtable Meeting

The Politics of Global Health: Innovation Overcome Inequity

Speaker:

Seth Berkley, Gavi Alliance, CEO

Presider:

Laurie Garrett, Senior Fellow for Global Health, Council on Foreign Relations
June 17, 2013

This meeting is not for attribution.

Conference Call

The International AIDS Conference: Wrap Up

Speaker:

Jon Cohen, Correspondent, Science

Presider:

Laurie Garrett, Senior Fellow for Global Health, Council on Foreign Relations
July 30, 2012

This meeting is on the record.

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Roundtable Meeting

Global Drug Safety: The G8 Summit and Beyond

Speakers:

Roger Bate, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute, Mary Lou Valdez, Associate Commissioner, International Programs, U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Presider:

Laurie Garrett, Senior Fellow for Global Health, Council on Foreign Relations
July 12, 2012

This meeting is not for attribution.

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Roundtable Meeting

A Conversation with Peter Piot

Speakers:

Peter Piot, Director, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine; Author, No Time to Lose: A Life in Pursuit of Deadly Viruses, Michel Sidibe, Executive Director, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS

Presider:

Laurie Garrett, Senior Fellow for Global Health, Council on Foreign Relations
June 18, 2012

This meeting is on the record.

Listen

Roundtable Meeting

South Africa's Role in Global Health Governance

Speaker:

Ebrahim Rasool, Embassy of South Africa to the United States

Presider:

Yanzhong Huang, Council on Foreign Relations
November 4, 2011

This meeting is not for attribution.

Roundtable Meeting

Losing Ground in the Vaccine Fight? Denialism, Measles, Polio, and Mumps - Old Scourges and New Problems

Speakers:

Seth Berkley, Chief Executive Officer, Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), Sophie Delaunay, Executive Director, U.S. Section of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)

Presider:

Laurie Garrett, Senior Fellow for Global Health, Council on Foreign Relations
October 24, 2011

This meeting is on the record.

Listen

Roundtable Meeting

UNICEF Forecast 2025: Global Trends and the Impact on Children

Speakers:

Bjorn Gillsater, Chief and Head, Multilateral Systems Analysis Unit, UNICEF, April Harding, Senior Economist, Health, Nutrition, and Population Hub and Investment Climate Department, World Bank

Presider:

Laurie Garrett, Senior Fellow for Global Health, Council on Foreign Relations
October 6, 2011

This meeting is not for attribution.

Roundtable Meeting

Crisis in the Horn: Can We Prevent One Million Deaths Today and Worse Famines Tomorrow?

Speakers:

Reverend David Beckmann, President, Bread for the World; Co-Chair, Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network, Stephanie Burgos, Senior Policy Advisor, Oxfam America, Lisa Meadowcroft, Executive Director, African Medical Research and Education Foundation

Presider:

Laurie Garrett, Senior Fellow for Global Health, Council on Foreign Relations
August 23, 2011

This meeting is not for attribution.

Roundtable Meeting

From IAVI to GAVI: A Conversation with Seth Berkley on the Future of Vaccines and Global Health

Speaker:

Seth Berkley, CEO and Founder, IAVI

Presider:

Laurie Garrett, Council on Foreign Relations
June 27, 2011

This meeting is not for attribution.

Roundtable Meeting

The Community of Faith and HIV Prevention

Speakers:

Bishop Charles E. Blake, West Angeles Church of God in Christ, Kenneth Hackett, Catholic Relief Services, Jed Hoffman, World Vision

Presider:

Laurie Garrett, Council on Foreign Relations
June 6, 2011

This meeting is not for attribution.

General Meeting ⁄ New York

The AIDS Pandemic at 30 Years: Can it be Stopped?

Panelists:

Michelle Bachelet, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women; Former President of Chile, Robert C. Orr, Assistant Secretary-General for Strategic Planning and Policy Coordination, United Nations, Michel Sidibe, Executive Director, UNAIDS, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS

Presider:

Seth F. Berkley, President, Chief Executive Officer, and Founder, International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI)
June 6, 2011 5:30-6:00 p.m. - Reception
6:00-7:00 p.m. - Meeting
7:00-7:30 p.m. - Cocktail Reception

This meeting is on the record.

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Roundtable Meeting

Financing Global Health 2010

Speakers:

Christopher Murray, Director, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), Alexander S. Preker, Head Health Industry and Investment Policy Analysis-Investment Climate Department, World Bank Group

Presider:

Laurie Garrett, Senior Fellow for Global Health, Council on Foreign Relations
November 30, 2010

This meeting is not for attribution.

News Releases

Health Experts