A New Agenda for Changing Global Health Needs

Project Expert

Thomas J. Bollyky

Senior Fellow for Global Health, Economics, and Development

About the Project

Global health is in transition. As the Ebola outbreak in West Africa demonstrated, the exotic parasites, bacterial blights, and infectious diseases that have long occupied international health initiatives remain important, but these health threats are declining in most countries and in every region of the world. That is good news, but this epidemiological transition is not yielding the demographic and economic benefits that accompanied that transition in wealthier countries. Cancers, heart disease, and noncommunicable diseases are increasing in prevalence faster, arising in younger and poorer populations, and having worse outcomes than seen in wealthy nations. Changes in global trade, urbanization, and the still nascent regulatory and health-care systems in emerging economies have also 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. My research examines the strategic, economic, and humanitarian objectives that underlie U.S. and international priorities and investments in global health and how to ensure their continued effectiveness in the face of the world's changing health needs. As part of this work, I directed CFR's Independent Taskforce on Noncommunicable Diseases and host the Global Health, Economics, and Development Roundtable Series.