September 25, 2009

On September 25, the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University welcomed His Excellency Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Minister of Health of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Minister Tedros visited to honor Ambassador Mark R. Dybul, O’Neill Institute Distinguished Visiting Scholar and Co-Director of the Global Health Law Program for his contributions to global health and the health of Ethiopia.

Of Amb. Dybul, Minister Tedros said, “He is one of the most gifted, hard-working, principled, compassionate and committed people I have had the privilege to know – an outstanding leader and a truly exceptional human being.”

Dr. Tedros and Amb. Dybul both discussed the critical role of country leadership in combating health threats. “So much is said of country ownership in development discourse these days. Yet, I have known so few who have upheld this critical cornerstone of successful development as consistently as Mark Dybul has,” said Dr. Tedros. After accepting Minister Tedros’ recognition, Ambassador Dybul also discussed the role of country leadership in development. “We have this horrible notion in development that we are coming to help poor, uneducated people. Nothing could be further from the truth. We go to support extraordinary human beings and learn a great deal in return.”

Minister Tedros is widely regarded as a leading public figure in global health. He has led Ethiopia’s Ministry of Health since 2005. He is also the chair of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. Until May, 2009, he chaired the Roll Back Malaria Alliance Partnership.

Ambassador Dybul is an O’Neill Institute Distinguished Visiting Scholar and Co-Director of the Global Health Law Program. Prior to joining the Institute, he served as the United States Global AIDS Coordinator. In that role, he led the implementation of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the largest international health initiative in history for a single disease.