Ahead of the Global Fund’s 45th Board meeting in May, the members of the Private Sector Constituency (PSC) re-elected Sherwin Charles (Co-Founder and CEO at Goodbye Malaria) as Board Member, and elected Jirair Ratevosian (Executive Director at Gilead Sciences) as Alternate Board Member, representing the private sector to the Global Fund’s Board. Mr. Charles will serve his second term as Board Member for the PSC.
Mr. Charles’ and Mr. Ratevosian’s two-year terms will begin at the close of the upcoming Board Meeting on May 12, 2021, and will run through early 2023.
This election also marked the end of Paul Schaper’s (Executive Director at Merck & Co.) second consecutive term as Alternate Board Member, having reached the maximum number of terms for this role. Mr. Schaper will remain an active member of the PSC representing Merck & Co., and will continue in his role as Chair of the Fund’s Donor Group.
The new PSC leadership joins the Board at a critical time for the Global Fund. It is currently developing the new post-2022 strategy to guide its investments in countries’ HIV, TB and malaria programs in a world that has been changed by COVID-19. The Global Fund also continues to refine its partnership model to ensure, among other things, more efficient engagement with the private sector in the fight against HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria.
In his address during the election process, Mr. Ratevosian remarked that he “will continue the work of the current PSC leadership to elevate the role of the private sector at the Global Fund Board and Committee levels.” He emphasized that “There is no time to waste – we have to lay down the groundwork for the replenishment year ahead, and we shall enhance the PSC’s engagement with the Global Fund and build trust and relationships with other Global Fund constituencies.” He added that “we also need to support new PSC members and help them to gradually and effectively engage in the PSC and the Global Fund’s work; and we need to… tell our story and work on putting in the spotlight the role of the private sector in global health and in the Global Fund’s agenda.”
The PSC members welcomed the passionate and insightful address by the second candidate for the Alternate Board Member position, Mr. Benjamin Fels (Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Macro-Eyes Health). Mr. Fels spoke about his bold vision focused on bringing private sector-driven innovation and entrepreneurial approach to the Global Fund. He highlighted the importance of private sector governance expertise, saying, “Governance is key… governance is not theoretical, and must be as close as possible to the point of action and to the day-to-day activities.”
Looking forward to the upcoming term, Mr. Charles emphasized that “The PSC is entering an important period for the private sector and the Global Fund, with the new strategy being developed, along with a new [monitoring & evaluation] system and a new set of [Key Performance Indicators]. The next year is also a replenishment year when the private sector will play an important role, as we did three years ago.” Mr. Charles remarked that “Making the private sector voice heard will be a priority for the PSC and for the Global Fund.”
He also thanked Mr. Schaper, the outgoing PSC Alternate Board Member, for his valuable contributions as an Alternate Board Member during the 2017-2021 term, a sentiment echoed by the entire Constituency and by GBCHealth.