Global Health and Africa

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1155 Observatory Drive Madison, WI 53706, 206 Ingraham Hall
@ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Africa at Noon

Speaker: Ambassador John E. Lange (Retd.)

Senior Fellow, UN Foundation Global Health Diplomacy, former Ambassador to Botswana

Time: 12:00 pm- 1:00 pm

Venue: 206 Ingraham Hall

Africa plays an outsized role in global health. Many African health ministries are under-resourced in dealing with a multitude of infectious and chronic diseases. Multilateral organizations such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and bilateral programs such as the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief provide large-scale assistance to improve public health in many African countries. Leading global health organizations such as the World Health Organization and UNAIDS currently are headed by Africans. Yet, during the COVID-19 pandemic, most low-income countries were last in line to receive large quantities of lifesaving vaccines. The issue of global health security versus global health equity has come to the fore in WHO negotiations for a potential new pandemic treaty, and African nations are at the center of the debate.

Ambassador John E. Lange (Retd.) is Senior Fellow for Global Health Diplomacy at the United Nations Foundation, where he focuses on issues related to global health security and the work of the World Health Organization. He has held leadership positions in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and the Measles & Rubella Initiative. Earlier, he spent four years at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation engaging in high-level global health advocacy with African governments.

Lange had a distinguished 28-year career in the Foreign Service at the U.S. Department of State, where he was a pioneer in the field of global health diplomacy and a leader in pandemic preparedness and response. He was the State Department’s Special Representative on Avian and Pandemic Influenza from 2006-2009. He also served tours of duty as Deputy Inspector General; Deputy U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator at the inception of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief; and U.S. Ambassador to Botswana and Special Representative to the Southern African Development Community (1999-2002), where HIV/AIDS was his signature issue.

Lange led the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, as Chargé d’Affaires at the time of the August 7, 1998, Al-Qaeda bombing, for which he received the State Department’s Distinguished Honor Award. Earlier, he had tours of duty at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in Geneva and the American Embassies in Lomé, Togo; Paris, France; and Mexico City, Mexico.

He has an M.S. degree from the National War College and J.D. and B.A. degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a member of the Global Health Institute’s Board of Visitors and the International Division’s External Advisory Board at the university.