FIND names Bill Rodriguez as new CEO to lead its new strategy
- Dr Bill Rodriguez appointed Chief Executive Officer of FIND, effective 1 July 2021
- FIND 2021 strategy, focused on testing to accelerate universal health coverage and mitigate health emergencies including COVID-19, launches tomorrow at a high-level forum for diagnostic testing
- Refreshed FIND logo unveiled
Geneva, Switzerland – 17 May 2021 – FIND, the global alliance for diagnostics, announced today that Dr Bill Rodriguez has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of the organization, starting 1 July 2021. This will be a return to FIND for Bill, having served as Chief Medical Officer between 2015 and 2017. He joins from the Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, a global venture philanthropy firm supporting early-stage, high-impact social enterprises. A medical doctor, he has extensive experience across both private and public sectors, founding his own diagnostics company, Daktari Diagnostics. He is a highly respected figure in the global health community, serving as advisor to the World Health Organization, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, national governments on global HIV, tuberculosis, Ebola and COVID-19, as well as numerous established and start-up for-profit and not-for-profit social enterprises focused on global health.
Bill will be among the speakers tomorrow, 18 May at 14:00 CEST at a high-level forum for diagnostic testing hosted by FIND, ahead of the 2021 Global Health Summit and 74th World Health Assembly, where we will launch our FIND 2021 strategy. The forum will explore how COVID-19 has transformed testing, implications for diagnostics in health emergencies and achieving universal health coverage, and how this has informed the organizational strategy.
Bill said: “FIND is synonymous with equitable access to testing. The work that the organization has been driving as an integral part of the COVID-19 response, while ensuring that longstanding programmes can continue to save lives in the midst of the pandemic, has been inspiring. I fully endorse the new strategy and look forward to continuing the dialogue with Heads of State and other stakeholders as we work together to make sure that everyone who needs a test can get one.”
Speakers at the forum will include: Dr Aminata Touré (former Prime Minister of Senegal and FIND Goodwill Ambassador), Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (WHO), Peter Sands (Global Fund), Dr Hayat Sindi (Islamic Development Bank), Dr Sara Cerdas (Member of the European Parliament, Portugal), Dr Jayasree Iyer (Access to Medicines Foundation), and Peter Ngo’la Owiti (Wote Youth Development Projects and Communities Representative on the ACT-Accelerator Facilitation Council). The event will be moderated by journalist Sarah Newey, from The Telegraph. You can register here.
Dr Aminata Touré said: “That testing has surfaced as an Achilles’ heel in so many health systems around the world is not a surprise. After a year of battling COVID-19, governments must now see the value in systematically investing in testing, in prioritizing testing in national health strategies, in supporting local manufacturing, and in ensuring effective, real-time disease surveillance systems are in place.”
The FIND 2021 strategy was developed during the course of 2020, against a backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is underpinned by our experiences as co-convener of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator diagnostics pillar and builds on two decades of work to advance diagnostic testing for global health. As a nimble, specialist organization, with strengths across the diagnostics value chain from R&D to delivery, we have been able to rapidly adapt to a changing global environment. We have learned valuable lessons along the way, identifying opportunities to shift our approach and better serve patients and their communities. With this new strategy, we are building a global alliance for diagnostics that can spur diagnostic innovation and make testing an integral part of sustainable, resilient health systems – the foundation of universal health coverage and health emergency response.
To mark the launch of our 2021 strategy, we have refreshed the FIND logo to give it a more contemporary look and feel, while retaining the original brand essence.
Sergio Carmona, Chief Medical Officer at FIND who is also serving as Acting CEO during the transition, said: “Developing this strategy during the last year has uniquely enabled us to apply lessons from the pandemic as we have been learning them. Testing is irrefutably the lynchpin of sustainable, resilient health systems, and we will continue to focus on driving equitable access to testing as an essential enabler of health for all.”
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FIND, the global alliance for diagnostics, seeks to ensure equitable access to reliable diagnosis around the world. We connect countries and communities, funders, decision-makers, healthcare providers and developers to spur diagnostic innovation and make testing an integral part of sustainable, resilient health systems. We are working to save 1 million lives through accessible, quality diagnosis, and save US$1 billion in healthcare costs to patients and health systems. We are co-convener of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator diagnostics pillar, and a WHO Collaborating Centre for Laboratory Strengthening and Diagnostic Technology Evaluation. For more information, please visit www.finddx.org
Sarah-Jane Loveday, Director of Communications
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