Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO Regional Director for Africa, is the first woman to occupy the position. She is an acclaimed leader in public health. Addressing gender inequity, she has worked to build a responsive, effective, and result-driven Secretariat that advances efforts towards universal health coverage and achieving the SDGs while tackling emerging threats, including climate change and noncommunicable diseases (NCDs).

Dr Moeti joined WHO’s Regional Office for Africa in 1999 and has served as Deputy Regional Director, Assistant Regional Director, Director of Noncommunicable Diseases, WHO Representative in Malawi, and Coordinator of the Inter-Country Support Team for the South and East African countries. As Regional Director, she is accelerating interventions to tackle tobacco use, alcohol consumption, and other risk factors for NCDs in all Member States of the African Region.

Before joining WHO, Dr Moeti ran tuberculosis and HIV programs in Botswana and has worked for three United Nations agencies. At the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, she led WHO African Region’s efforts on treatment scale-up in the context of the ‘3 by 5’ initiative, including establishing a regional HIV laboratory network, resulting in a significant increase in access to antiretroviral therapy, and decrease in HIV-related deaths in the region.

She is a COVID-19 response heroine, leading WHO in Africa’s support to countries and building over 150 partnerships. She spearheads a flagship capacity-building programme to boost African Member States’ resilience and readiness to detect and respond to disease outbreaks. A supporter of and regular speaker at the Galien Forum Africa, she is addressing the gap in effective policies and regulations to reduce risk factors for NCD