Dr John Nkengasong currently serves as Director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, a specialized technical institution of the African Union.
In early 2020, he was appointed as one of the WHO Director-General’s Special Envoys on COVID-19 Preparedness and Response. In addition, Dr Nkengasong was most recently awarded the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s 2020 Global Goalkeeper Award for his contributions to the continental response in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa.
Prior to his current position, he served as Acting Deputy Principal Director of the Center for Global Health and Chief of the International Laboratory Branch, Division of Global HIV and TB for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Dr Nkengasong holds a master’s degree in tropical biomedical science from the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium, and a doctorate in medical sciences (virology), from the University of Brussels, Belgium.
Dr Nkengasong has received numerous awards for his work including Sheppard Award, the William Watson Medal of Excellence, the highest recognition awarded by the US CDC. He is also recipient of the Knight of Honour Medal by the Government of Cote d’Ivoire, was knighted in 2017 as the Officer of Loin by the President of Senegal, H.E. Macky Sall, and Knighted in November 2018 by the government of Cameroon for his significant contributions to public health. He is an adjunct professor at the Emory School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA.
He serves on several international advisory boards including the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Initiative (CEPIT) and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI), among others. He has authored over 250 peer-review articles in international journals and published several book chapters.
Pandemic Preparedness and Response: Stopping the Next Outbreak Before it Becomes a Pandemic