The UHC Movement Political Panel provides guidance to the UHC2030 Steering Committee to strengthen political support for universal health coverage (UHC). The panel also conveys UHC2030’s messages to high-level political leaders to ensure that commitment translates into concrete action in countries. 

The Political Panel advises on opportunities to further use political processes to sustain high-level momentum and actionable commitments on UHC. Its members have no legal status or binding obligations; they act in a purely advisory role.

Download: UHC Movement Political Panel Terms of Reference

Ambassador Minata Samate Cessouma

Commissioner for Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development of the African Union 

H.E. Amb. Minata Samaté Cessouma is the Commissioner for Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development. She is a native of Burkina Faso with over thirty (30) years of experience in international relations, Diplomacy, Governance and peace and security, humanitarian and social affairs. At the international level, Her Excellency has served as Director of the United Nations and African Union Hybrid Mission in Darfur from June 2014 to July 2015, where she contributed through negotiations and mediation to strengthening peacekeeping operations, humanitarian affairs, and preventive diplomacy. 

Mr. James Chau

WHO Goodwill Ambassador and President of the China-United States Exchange Foundation 

Born in London, James Chau has earned a special reputation for his television interviews with world figures including Nobel laureates Jimmy Carter, Kofi Annan, Muhammad Yunus, and Françoise Barré-Sinoussi. As President of the China-United States Exchange Foundation, an independent non-governmental organization, he leads its partnership with two presidential legacies: The Carter Center and the George H.W. Bush Foundation. He was appointed WHO Goodwill Ambassador by Director-Generals Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and Dr. Margaret Chan. Mr. Chau studied at Cambridge University, King’s College London, and the Royal Academy of Music. He completed an Executive Education course at the Harvard Kennedy School and is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader.  

Dr. Mariam Jashi

Chapter Chair for Europe for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Global Board Member of the UNITE Parliamentarians Network, and CEO of the Global Sepsis Alliance  

Dr. Mariam Jashi is the CEO of the Global Sepsis Alliance and the Global Board Member of the UNITE Parliamentarians’ Network. She brings 25 years of experience in Global Health from the countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa and North America. For 8 years (2012-2020) Dr. Jashi served as a senior government official in Georgia as the Member of Parliament, Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee, Deputy Minister of Health, and President of Innovative Financing Secretariat hosted by French Foreign Ministry. Dr. Jashi is the Secretary General of the Medical Women’s International Association, Advisory Board Chair of Tbilisi Medical Academy and Council Member of the Virchow Foundation for Global Health. Her earlier experience includes 12 years of health programme management at UNICEF and UNAIDS and technical expertise to GAVI, The World Bank and other international agencies both in disease-specific portfolios (e.g., Immunization, HIV/AIDS, Cancer), and UHC and HSS initiatives. Edward S. Mason Fellow of the Harvard Kennedy School, Dr. Jashi holds MPA degree from Harvard University, Doctor of Medicine (MD) from AIETI Medical School and MPH from Tbilisi State University.  

Prof. Ilona Kickbusch

Founding Director of the Global Health Center, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies 

Ilona Kickbusch is the Founder of the Global Health Centre at the Graduate Institute in Geneva and the former Co-Chair of the UHC2030 Steering Committee. Her areas of expertise include the geopolitics of global health, health in all policies and digital determinants of health. She advises on global health strategies, trains health specialists, and is regularly involved in G7 and G20 health activities. She publishes widely and serves on various commissions and boards. Ilona is a member of the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board and leads the Digital Transformations for Health LAB, which follows through on the Lancet/Financial Times Commission on "Governing health futures 2030: Growing up in a digital world". 

Dr. Justin Koonin

Former UHC2030 co-chair, President of ACON, and Civil Society Advisory Governor of the Commonwealth Foundation, Australia

Justin Koonin is a former co-chair of UHC2030, the international multistakeholder partnership for universal health coverage. He is a member of multiple WHO expert panels, including for the Universal Health Preparedness Review, and on HIV, viral hepatitis and STIs. He is Distinguished Fellow and Honorary Professorial Fellow at The George Institute for Global Health, Adjunct Associate Professor at the Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales, and an Advisory Governor of the Commonwealth Foundation. At a national level, Justin is President of ACON (formerly AIDS Council of New South Wales), Australia’s largest civil society organisation working on HIV prevention, care and support, and the health of sexuality and gender-diverse people more broadly.  Justin Koonin’s work spans a diverse range of sectors. In addition to his efforts in health and human rights, he has worked as a postdoctoral researcher in mathematics at the University of Sydney, as a data scientist at PwC, and (currently) as a fund manager at Allan Gray. He holds a Ph.D. in Pure Mathematics from the University of Sydney, and is a Chartered Financial Analyst charter holder, as well as a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. 

Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng

United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health

Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng, is the UN Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, and former Chair of the Coordination Committee of Special Procedures Mandate Holders during 2022/2023. She is Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University, a Distinguished Lecturer at O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, and Extraordinary lecturer at Stellenbosch University.  She is Co-chair of the O’Neill-Lancet Commission on Racism, Structural Discrimination and Global Health. Dr. Mofokeng has worked in various clinical and health management settings and has intervened as amicus curiae in many jurisdictions across the world in her capacity as the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to health. 

Ms. Joy Phumaphi

Co-Chair of the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board and Executive Secretary of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance

Joy Phumaphi is a former Minister of Health of Botswana; former Assistant Director General at WHO; and Former Vice President & Head of Human Development Network at the World Bank. She chairs the Botswana National Gender Commission and is Board Chair of the Rollback Malaria Partnership to End Malaria. She is co-Chair of the Global Pandemic Preparedness Monitoring Board (GPMB), and the Lancet pathfinder commission on climate change and health. She sits on the boards of the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) and the Partnership on Maternal, Newborn Child and Adolescent Health (PMNCH). She co-chaired the United Nations (UN) Secretary General’s Independent Accountability Panel for Every Woman, Every Child, Every Adolescent.

Ms. Gisela Scaglia

UNITE Chapter Chair for Latin America & Caribbean, Global Board Member of the UNITE Parliamentarians Network, Vice-Governor of Santa Fe, Argentina, President of the Senate of Santa Fe, Argentina

Gisela Scaglia currently serves as Vice-Governor of Santa Fe, Argentina, as well as President of the Senate for the term 2023-2027. Previously, she held a role as Member of the National Parliament (2013-2021). During her tenure, she focused on legislation regarding Health, Environment and Children’s Rights. Together with her extensive experience in public administration at both local and national levels, she has also expanded her career as a consultant in Social Development for different organisms, advocating for projects related to Global Health and Children’s Rights. Additionally, she holds the vice-presidency of the PRO Political Party in Santa Fe and has taught Political Science at various national universities for 15 years. From 2017 to 2021, she served as Co-Chair for Latin America of the Global TB Caucus and joined UNITE in 2018, now serving as a Chapter Chair for Latin America & Caribbean on the Global Board. Furthermore, she chairs the Steering Committee for the Digital Health Hub within the network. 

Mr. Akihisa Shiozaki

Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan 

Raised in Matsuyama City, Ehime Prefecture, Japan, Akihisa graduated from the University of Tokyo in 1999 with a B.A. in Law. He received his M.A. in International Policy from Stanford University Graduate School in 2000 and his M.A. in Business Administration at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 2010. He was admitted to the bar in 2002, became Secretary to the Chief Cabinet Secretary in 2006.  He was elected to the House of Representatives in 2021 and is currently serving his first term. He was appointed Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare in September 2023. 

Former members of the UHC Movement Political Panel include: 

  • Dr. Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis, Former European Commissioner 
  • Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, Former Prime Minister of Norway 
  • Ms. María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, President of the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly 
  • Dr. Sania Nishtar, Member of the Senate of Pakistan 
  • Ms. Emilia Saiz, Secretary General of the United Cities and Local Governments 
  • Mr. Elhadj As Sy, Chair of the Board, Kofi Annan Foundation 
  • Prof. Keizo Takemi, Member of the House of Councillors, Japan 



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