Dr. Vanessa Kerry

Director-General Special Envoy for Climate Change and Health, World Health Organization

Dr. Kerry is the co-founder and CEO of Seed Global Health (Seed), a non-profit organization focused on health systems strengthening and transformation through long-term investments and training of the health workforce. Under her leadership, Seed has helped educate more than 47,000 doctors, nurses, and midwives in seven countries, helping to improve health care for more than 76 million people. 

In June 2023, Dr. Kerry was appointed WHO Special Envoy for Climate Change and Health. She has spoken and written about the effects of climate change on human health and health systems and the need to integrate a health-centered response into climate change mitigation and adaptation measures. Dr. Kerry supported the UAE COP28 Presidency to shape the first-ever COP Day of Health on December 3, 2023 and continues to lead efforts globally to build advocacy around the impact of climate change on health and ensure equitable and just climate action.

Dr. Kerry is the Director of the Program in Global Public Policy at the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Global Health. She also directs the Global Public Policy and Social Change program at Harvard Medical School where she has focused on links between security and health. She is the mother of two children.  

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