Biography of former RBM Executive Director
Prof Awa Marie Coll-Seck
Minister of Health of the Republic of Senegal
Professor Awa Marie Coll-Seck was Executive Director of the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership from 2004 to 1 March 2012. Prior to this appointment, Coll-Seck was Minister of Health of the Republic of Senegal (2001-2003). As Minister of Health, she initiated far-reaching reform of the health sector in Senegal and engaged a wide range of government, civil society and private sector partners in the implementation and expansion of public health programmes. She mobilized strong political commitment within her country for health to be rightly recognized as key to economic and social development, and she successfully mobilized financial resources both domestically and from bilateral and multilateral international donors.
From 1996 to 2001, Coll-Seck served as a Director at the Joint United Nations Programme for HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) at its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. Utilizing her skills and experience in policy formulation and scientific research, Coll-Seck led the Department of Policy, Strategy and Research, the largest department within UNAIDS consisting of a diverse group of physicians, nurses, researchers, and other international policy and technical experts "best practice" guidance to assist governments and civil society in mounting their national and community responses to the global AIDS epidemic. Coll-Seck was subsequently named Director of the UNAIDS Department of Country and Regional Support, where she coordinated and mobilized the UN system response to the epidemic while supervising UNAIDS staff serving at four regional offices and at country-level offices throughout Africa, Asia, Eastern and Central Europe, and Latin America and the Caribbean.
Born in 1951 in Dakar, Senegal, Awa Marie Coll-Seck has been awarded numerous professional and academic honours, including the Chevalier de l’Ordre du Mérite de la République Francaise, Chevalier des Palmes Académiques Francaises, Officier de l’Ordre du Mérite Sénégalais and Chevalier de l’Ordre du Mérite du Burkina Faso. She was elected as chairperson of Commission B of the 2002 World Health Assembly and as President of the Assembly of the Ministries of Health of the West African Health Organization (WAHO, 2002-2003) and is currently a member of the prestigious Academy of Sciences and Technologies of Senegal. After earning a degree in medicine in 1978 from the University of Dakar, she served for nearly twenty years as a specialist in infectious diseases in leading hospitals in Dakar, Senegal and Lyon, France. In 1989, she was appointed Professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases at the University of Dakar and Chief of Service for Infectious Diseases at the University Hospital in Dakar.
Awa Marie Coll-Seck is the author of over 150 scientific publications and communications on diverse subjects - including malaria, measles, meningitis, tetanus, typhoid, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and cardio-vascular diseases - is a member of over 20 professional societies and organizations, and is fluent in French, English and her native Wolof, with a working knowledge.