Two expert health leaders join CEPI Board

01_ CEPI Circular Graphics White on Blue

September 16, 2021, Oslo, Norway— World-leading health experts Dr. Nísia Trindade Lima and Dr. Juan Pablo Uribe have been appointed to the Board of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), an international organisation working to rapidly advance vaccines against COVID-19 and other emerging infectious diseases, and enable access to these vaccines for people during outbreaks.

Dr. Nísia Trindade Lima is a highly awarded researcher and sociologist, serving as President of Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) in Brazil. Linked to the Brazilian Ministry of Health, Fiocruz is the largest public health academic institution in the Latin American and Caribbean Region. As its President, Dr. Lima closely follows the work of many Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)/ World Health Organization (WHO) collaborating centres and scientific networks in the Latin American Countries and Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP), coordinated by the institution. She also follows the work developed at Fiocruz' office in Mozambique, which articulates health cooperation programmes with African countries. Fiocruz is currently focused on responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and is responsible for the production of the CEPI-supported Oxford/ AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, in Brazil. Dr. Lima is the first female to serve as President in the scientific institution's 121-year history and was recently granted the Knight Grade of France's Legion of Honor for her work in favour of Public Health.

Former Minister of Health and Social Protection in Colombia, Dr. Juan Pablo Uribe, has recently joined the World Bank as Global Director for Health, Nutrition and Population and Director of the Global Financing Facility for Women, Children and Adolescents. In this position he is leading the strategic direction of the World Bank's health work and COVID-19 response, ensuring the quality impact of health operations in country programmes, and overseeing the delivery of high-quality global engagements and knowledge that respond to COVID-19. Dr. Uribe has worked for over twenty years in public health and health administration, including previously held roles as a senior specialist of health for the World Bank Latin America and the Caribbean in Washington, D.C. from 2000 to 2004, and later as Health Director for the World Bank East Asia and the Pacific.

Together, Dr. Lima and Dr. Uribe will serve as the two Latin American representatives on the CEPI Board. Dr. Lima will serve as a Board voting member and will also sit on CEPI's Audit and Risk Board Committee. Dr. Uribe takes over the World Bank's seat on the CEPI Board, a non-voting institutional role previously held by former World Bank representative, Dr. Muhammad Ali Pate. They will both assume their roles at CEPI's Board Meeting, taking place today and tomorrow (16th-17th September).

I assume this responsibility as a recognition of my work and, above all, as a commitment to bring the perspective learned at Fiocruz of both thinking about new innovation technologies facing health emergencies, as well as associating this innovation to achieve equity in health.

It is also very important to value the perspective of the Latin American and Caribbean region and an interdisciplinary vision of scientific knowledge, necessary for preparedness actions in crucial times like these in which we live.

Nísia Trindade LimaDr. Nísia Trindade Lima

I am delighted to join CEPI's Board, especially during this crucial time where COVID-19 has shown us how important CEPI's work is in financing independent research to develop vaccines against emerging infectious diseases.

Equitable access to vaccines for the poorest people is a top priority for the World Bank, and I look forward to working with other Board members on CEPI's important mission.

Juan Pablo UribeJuan Pablo Uribe

Launched in 2017 to accelerate vaccine development against epidemics, CEPI is an innovative global partnership between public, private, philanthropic, and civil society organisations. CEPI responded quickly and in collaboration with partners in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and has to date built one of the world's largest COVID-19 vaccine portfolios. Alongside, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, WHO, and UNICEF, CEPI also co-leads COVAX — the global initiative working to accelerate the development and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines, and to deliver fair and equitable access for every country in the world.

CEPI's work to rapidly respond to the COVID-19 pandemic forms part of its ambitious $3.5bn plan, launched in March 2021, to minimise or even eradicate future epidemic and pandemic risk, potentially averting millions of deaths and trillions of dollars in economic damage. The plan includes the "moonshot" objective to help compress vaccine development timelines to 100 days, the creation of a library of prototype vaccines to rapidly respond if a virus emerges, and the vision to assist low-and middle-income countries to develop the infrastructure and expertise to advance vaccine development and manufacturing capacity so that such countries can take full ownership of their national health security.

I am delighted to welcome Dr. Nísia Trindade Lima and Dr. Juan Pablo Uribe to the CEPI Board. As two leading health experts, with tremendous insight into and understanding around the science and health arena within Latin America, their experience and knowledge will be invaluable to progressing CEPI's mission going forward.

Dr. Lima's unique expert perspective from her background as a sociologist and scientist, alongside Dr. Uribe's longstanding commitment and work in health and health administration, will deeply enrich the Board's discussions as we continue to work around the clock to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. They will also aid our work as we begin to implement our $3.5bn plan to build the life-saving tools and networks so that we are better prepared for future infectious disease outbreaks.

Jane HaltonChair of CEPI

CEPI's primary governing body is the CEPI Board, which has 12 voting members (four investors and eight independent members representing competencies including industry, global health, science, resource mobilisation, finance) and five observers. The Board provides oversight of the strategy, leadership, performance, and accountability of CEPI. It is advised on decisions, such as prioritising pathogens and selecting development partners, by CEPI's Scientific Advisory Committee.


Further detail on the CEPI Board

A summary of discussions from CEPI's Board Meeting, held Thursday 16th September and Friday 17th September, will be posted on the CEPI website in the coming weeks. More information about CEPI's Board is available here.

About CEPI

CEPI is an innovative partnership between public, private, philanthropic, and civil organisations, launched at Davos in 2017, to develop vaccines against future epidemics. Prior to COVID-19 CEPI's work focused on developing vaccines against Ebola virus, Lassa virus, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus, Nipah virus, Rift Valley Fever virus and Chikungunya virus — it has over 20 vaccine candidates against these pathogens in development. CEPI has also invested in new platform technologies for rapid vaccine development against unknown pathogens (Disease X).

During the current pandemic, CEPI initiated multiple programmes to develop vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 and its variants with a focus on speed, scale and access. These programmes leverage the rapid response platforms previously developed by CEPI's partners prior to the emergence of COVID-19 as well as new collaborations. The aim is to advance clinical development of a diverse portfolio of safe and effective COVID-19 candidates and to enable fair allocation to these vaccines worldwide through COVAX.

CEPI's 5-year plan lays out a $3.5 billion roadmap to compress vaccine development timelines to 100 days, develop a universal vaccine against COVID-19 and other Betacoronaviruses, and create a "library" of vaccine candidates for use against known and unknown pathogens. The plan is available at

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