Fellows taking part in the Executive Programme for Global Health Leadership convened in Geneva for a week at the end of March.
The aim of this reunion was to take part in their second residential week (the first having been held in September 2018 in London), in collaboration with our partners at the Graduate Institute Geneva. The Executive Programme Residential Week in Geneva focused on global health diplomacy and negotiations.
During the residential week, Fellows had the opportunity to meet personally with various senior health leaders, who spoke candidly about their career path and leadership journey within the sector. They discussed openly with a wide range of stakeholders about the leadership challenges encountered within this field, including, but not limited to: Bernhard Schwartländer, Chef de Cabinet of WHO; Sanne Wendes, Chief of Staff at UNITAID; Susan Brown, Director of Public Policy Engagement, GAVI; Douglas Bettcher, Senior Adviser, DG Office of WHO; and Peter Salama, Executive Director for Universal Health Coverage at the WHO.
During this week, Fellows worked with “health as a political issue”, and practiced global level negotiations to master “global health diplomacy as the magic of effective dialogue”, supported by Professor Nick Drager who has led large international negotiations. Fellows took part in dynamic simulations with the Geneva and LSHTM Directors, to enhance their decision-making, diplomacy and negotiation skills.
Abha Saxena, recent lead for Global Health Ethics at the WHO, shared her experiences and described the importance of “entangling who we are with what we do”, and thus knowing ones’ values. A poignant example of this was demonstrated by Hossam Elsharkawi, Senior Consultant for Field Hospitals and Emergency Medical Teams at WHO, who discussed leadership as being “about the agility of mind and soul”.
The Fellows had the opportunity to meet with LSHTM alumni working with a wide range of global health actors, based in Geneva, which was a wonderful networking activity for Fellows, LSHTM colleagues and alumni alike.
The group enjoyed the beauty of Geneva, and learnt about the important history of neutrality and governance structures in Switzerland, benefiting from a tour of the city, and of the United Nations, and reflections with walks on the banks of Lake Geneva.
After this transformational reunion, Fellows commented that it was “a perfect week”, with “high-level experiential-learning”. It presented a great opportunity to better learn how “to translate technical work at a diplomatic scale” and helped “give energy and passion to continue with [their own] work”.
The next and final residential week for this year’s cohort will be in Cape Town in June and will focus on Systems Leadership, empowering leadership and effective delivery of goals through all levels, and across sectors.
The Executive Programme is a bespoke course for experienced health professionals to develop their personal leadership skills and professional networks. We are currently recruiting for September 2019 and would be delighted to answer any questions you might have regarding our programme – so please don’t hesitate to contact the Programme team at firstname.lastname@example.org.