Population Health

October 24, 2022

Global Perspectives: Women in Leadership in Public Health panel on Nov. 2

Image of a microphone in an auditoriumGender gaps within public health organizations are persistent and have been exasperated by the COVID-19 pandemic, systematically preventing individuals who identify as women from advancing to positions of power and influence and impacting health system delivery to women and society overall.

Please plan to join us online or in person at 8 a.m. Pacific on Wednesday, November 2, 2022, for a conversation on the imperative of women in leadership in public health. Hear perspectives from four panelists working around the globe: two alumni from the Evans School’s International Program in Public Health Leadership in Ethiopia and Uganda; one public health practitioner in India; and one public health practitioner in the United States.

These public health leaders will discuss the societal, organizational and individual factors that shape the ability of individuals who identify as women to engage within public health organizations, and how they have successfully navigated bureaucratic health systems to overcome institutionalized gender norms and advance in their careers.

Meet the speakers:

  • Candace Jackson (Health Practice Director, Pyramid Communications)
    Candace is a visionary, values-based strategist committed to driving change in partnership with communities most impacted by intersecting injustices. With more than 10 years of experience in the government and nonprofit sectors, she helps organizations engage with communities from a place of clarity and purpose. Working from a conceptual framework that honors the realities of history, her work is grounded in anti-racist and disability justice principles.
  • Dr. Ruth Belachew (Chief of Staff, Ministry of Health, Ethiopia)
    As Chief of Staff for the Ministry of Health in Ethiopia, Dr. Ruth oversees major health sector programs including key partnerships, cooperation with stakeholders, and is responsible for structuring and executing complex analyses to support strategy in the evolving environment of the Ministry of Health. With 10 years’ experience in the health sector, she is passionate about collaborating towards health sector transformation and is committed to excellence.
  • Dr. Girija Vaidyanathan (IAS (Retired) & Former Chief Secretary, Government of Tamil Nadu)
    Dr. Vaidyanathan, now retired, is known for her work in streamlining the public health system in Tamil Nadu as the Health Secretary in two stints, from 2001–02 and 2011–12, particularly through implementation of innovative schemes for maternal and child health. She was also Mission Director of the National Rural Health Mission, as well as Mission Director of the State Health Society when Tamil Nadu won the award for best performance among the non-empowered action group states.
  • Dr. Cordelia Katureebe Mboijana (National Coordinator HIV Care and Treatment, Ministry of Health, Uganda)
    Dr. Mboijana has more than 17 years’ experience in clinical care, strategic planning, and implementation of programs addressing HIV care and treatment for people living with HIV. She is passionate about health systems strengthening. Much of her work is focused on implementation of interventions to strengthen the key aspects of health systems for the Regional Referral Hospitals to ensure they become centers of excellence in their mandate to achieve epidemic control at the regional level.

The discussion will be moderated by Sebawit (Seba) Bishu, an assistant professor in the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance. Dr. Bishu’s scholarly work explores race and gender relations in public organizations with a focus on leadership, street-level bureaucracy, identity and organizational behavior. Her research asks the question, “How do societal, organizational and managerial level factors shape public organizations’ and bureaucrats’ behaviors and decisions, and what are the implications for access to, and quality of, public services?”

“Women represent 50 percent of the population globally, yet their voices are often missing in the policies and programs, including health services, that serve them. Women’s engagement in leadership roles is vital to ensure that policies and programs reflect their interests and needs,” shared Sebawit Bishu.

Light refreshments and networking opportunities will be available at the event for in-person attendees at the Hans Rosling Center for Population Health. This panel event is hosted by the UW’s Population Health Initiative, Office of Global Affairs, Evans School of Public Policy & Governance International Program in Public Health Leadership and the School of Public Health.

Register to Attend >