Our leadership team has studied hepatitis in great research institutes, dirt-floored clinics and, in one case, in his own body.
The scope of The Hepatitis Fund’s activities spans numerous hepatitis prevention and care interventions that target different populations in a wide range of geographical settings. Members of the Advisory Council have expertise in key programmatic aspects of hepatitis prevention and care, are representative of the key populations affected by hepatitis and of regions heavily affected by hepatitis.
Ms. Joan Block (retired) formerly executive director, Hepatitis B Foundation
Ms. Joan Block (Doylestown, PA, USA) is co-founder and senior advisor to the Hepatitis B Foundation (HBF), the only national nonprofit organization solely dedicated to finding a cure for hepatitis B and improving the lives of those affected worldwide. In 2017, she stepped down as its founding executive director at which time she shared for the first time her personal story about living with chronic hepatitis B. The HBF was established in 1991 and today, the HBF has grown from a grassroots effort into a national research, outreach and patient advocacy organization with a global reach.
Under Ms. Block’s leadership, key accomplishments include developing comprehensive outreach, public health research, patient advocacy, and fundraising programs to achieve the HBF’s mission. Key achievements include building a website that attracts 4 million visitors from 100+countries each year; creating the #justB national storytelling project that is creating a patient network with 2.2 million views of their stories on YouTube; establishing and co-chairing the first national hepatitis B coalition, Hep B United, with more than 40 community-based groups and federal partners working together to eliminate hepatitis B. The HBF led the fight to battle institutional discrimination against hepatitis B-infected health care students and workers by working with the CDC to update their 1991 guidelines in 2012 and partnering with the U.S. Dept. of Justice on a successful lawsuit that resulted in hepatitis B becoming a protected condition under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) in 2013. The HBF’s consensus report, “Roadmap for a Cure,” was published and shared extensively with Congress, NIH and CDC, which resulted in increased federal funding for hepatitis B, and its research priorities were included in the 2019 NIH’s national strategic plan for hepatitis B.
Ms. Block served on the WHO’s Committee for Development of Guidelines for the Management of Hepatitis B, the first such published guidelines by WHO; received recognition for her advocacy work from the White House and the CDC Foundation; and served on the boards of the ALF, NVHR, and HBF and its research institute, the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute. She currently serves on the governing boards of Hep B United, HBV Forum and ICE-HBV. Ms. Block received her nursing degree from Thomas Jefferson University and worked as a professional nurse in pediatric oncology, adult cardiac care, and nursing education.
Saeed Hamid co-chair, Coalition to Eradicate Viral Hepatitis in Asia Pacific
Saeed Sadiq Hamid (Karachi, Pakistan) is Professor of Medicine and Director of the Clinical Trials Unit at the Aga Khan University, having served as the Ibne Sina Chairman, Department of Medicine over the past 10 years He is co-chair of the Coalition to Eradicate Viral Hepatitis in Asia Pacific (CEVHAP), member of the Technical Advisory Group on Viral Hepatitis to the government of Pakistan and Chair of the Hepatology Interest Group, World Gastroenterology Organization. He served as president of the Pakistan Society for the Study of Liver Diseases from 2011 to 2016.
Saeed is currently an associate editor for Hepatology International, the official journal of the Asian Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver (APASL). He is also a long serving member of the WHO Guidelines and Publications committee and chaired the WHO Guidelines Development Groups on HCV treatment guidelines that were released in April 2016 and revised in July 2018. Saeed was a member of the APASL Executive Council from 2006-2010 and continues to be a member of many APASL guideline development groups.
Saeed’s research interests include viral hepatitis and currently focus on Elimination of HCV from Pakistan. He has been the recipient of basic and clinical research grants, including clinical trials, and has numerous publications and book chapters to his credit. He is one of main authors on the recent Lancet Commission on Accelerating the Elimination of Viral. He graduated from King Edward Medical College, Lahore in 1981, and has been affiliated with Aga Khan University since 1990. He completed his postgraduate training in Medicine and Gastroenterology in the UK, and in Hepatology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas.
Gottfried Hirnschall (retired) formerly director, WHO HIV, Hepatitis and STIs
Gottfried Hirnschall is the Former Director of the HIV Department and the Global Hepatitis Programme of the World Health Organization (WHO) until June 2019. He currently works as independent Public Health expert based in Vienna, Austria. Under his oversight in WHO, he coordinated the Organization’s response to HIV and viral hepatitis and the development of the first-ever global Hepatitis Strategy with Elimination Targets by 2030.
Building partnerships to establish and achieve shared targets has been central to Dr Hirnschall’s career: he previously coordinated WHO’s support in child and adolescent health until 2000; for WHO’s “3 by 5” initiative until 2005 – he mobilized support and resources for the unprecedented scale-up of antiretroviral therapy in low-income countries.
Between 2005 and 2008, he directed the Caribbean HIV programme of the Pan-American Health Organization, out of Trinidad and Tobago, and then, out of Washington DC, oversaw PAHO’s HIV work in the Americas, 2008 to 2010.
Dr Hirnschall holds a Medical Degree from the University of Vienna with a specialization in Family Health, a diploma in Tropical Medicine from the Swiss Tropical Institute, Basel. He obtained an MPH from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and served in the Epidemic Intelligence Service at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, USA, between 1989-91.
Homie Razavi executive director, Center for Disease Analysis Foundation
Homie Razavi is the managing director at the Center for Disease Analysis Foundation (CDAF). His team has analyzed and published the hepatitis epidemiology data for over 100 countries and has worked with individual countries to develop national hepatitis strategies. He leads the Polaris Observatory, which provides up to date estimates for HCV, HBV and HDV disease burden and the impact of strategies that meet national targets. In addition, he is the founder of the Global Procurement Fund (GPRO), which provides affordable quality treatment and diagnostics to low and middle-income countries.
He has a broad background, which includes basic research, business development, commercial development, portfolio management, and decision analysis. He is a fellow in the Society of Decision Professionals and a member of AASLD and EASL.
He has co-authored over 70 peered reviewed publications on hepatitis and is a frequent speaker on the subject. He also holds four patents. He has a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Colorado and an MBA from Washington University.
Lewis Roberts director, Gastroenterology and Hepatology Cancer Center at the Mayo Clinic
Lewis R. Roberts is the Peter and Frances Georgeson Professor in Gastroenterology Cancer Research and a Consultant in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Mayo Clinic, where he is Director of the Hepatobiliary Neoplasia Clinic, Co-Chair of the Hepatobiliary Cancer Disease Group of Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, Co-Principal Investigator of the Mayo Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) in Hepatobiliary Cancers, Associate Director of Pre-Doctoral Programs in the Center for Clinical and Translational Sciences, and Director for Research at Mayo Clinic Alix School of Medicine. Dr. Roberts earned his medical degree from the University of Ghana Medical School, a PhD in Physiology and Biophysics from The University of Iowa, and completed postgraduate training in Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology and Hepatology, and Cancer Genetics at Mayo Clinic.
Dr. Roberts clinical practice is focused on liver and bile duct cancers and gastrointestinal endoscopy. His research includes studies of the molecular mechanisms of liver and biliary carcinogenesis; biomarkers to improve the diagnosis and treatment of liver, bile duct and pancreas cancers; and prevention, diagnosis and treatment of hepatitis and liver cancer in Africa as well as in immigrant African communities in the USA. His research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the American Gastroenterological Association Foundation, the American College of Gastroenterology and The Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation. He has authored over 375 articles, book chapters, abstracts and letters.
Dr. Roberts is currently Deputy Editor of Hepatology and is on the Editorial Board of Liver Cancer. He serves as President of Africa Partners Medical, a non-profit organization focused on improving healthcare delivery in Africa through medical education, practical skills training, provision of medical equipment and supplies, and health advocacy, as President of the West Africa Institute for Liver and Digestive Diseases Foundation, and also as a member of the Advisory Council for The Hepatitis Fund.
Shin Young-soo director emeritus, WHO Western Pacific Regional Office
Shin Young-soo served as the World Health Organization’s Regional Director for the Western Pacific for 10 years from February 2009 to January 2019.
Dr Shin was the first Regional Director for the Western Pacific elected from outside of WHO. From the first day in his service, Dr Shin pledged to put countries at the centre of the work of WHO in the Region. He has led a series of reforms to change the way the Organization works. His focus has been constant: providing better support focused on needs at the country level. These reforms are producing results by helping Member States to achieve better health outcomes for the nearly 1.9 billion people of the Western Pacific Region.
Prior to joining WHO, Dr Shin was a professor and founding Chairman of the Department of Health Policy and Management at the College of Medicine, Seoul National University, where he graduated magna cum laude in 1969.
He was deeply involved in expanding the Korean national health insurance system in 1980s’and later, when the universal health coverage was being introduced, in securing quality and accountability of Korean health care service system. Dr Shin was instrumental in the establishment of Korea’s National Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service (HIRA), which oversees health care service quality and disburses national health insurance payments. He served as the founding president from 2002 to 2003.
Dr Shin’s doctoral thesis in Yale University (1977) “Product Heterogeneity and Case Mix Variation in Hospitals” was the first research work applying DRG developed by Yale University. He was a key research member in the development of DRG.
Dr Shin received Mugunhwa Medal form the Korean Government, which is the highest-level medal given to civilian Koreans. He was born in Busan on 15 October 1943 and married with three children and four grandchildren.
Su Wang president, World Hepatitis Alliance
Su Wang, MD, MPH is the President of the World Hepatitis Alliance (WHA) from 2020-2022. She is living with hepatitis B and served as a Regional Board Member representing PAHO for WHA since 2014. She is the Medical Director of the Center for Asian Health and the Saint Barnabas Medical Center Liver Center in New Jersey, USA. She has served as primary investigator for a number of viral hepatitis screening and linkage-to-care grants sponsored by the US CDC and other funders. She is the Chair of the New Jersey Viral Hepatitis Coalition, on the board for the Hepatitis B Foundation, and a member of Hepatitis B United, a national coalition representing community efforts in the U.S. She is an associate member of the Rutgers’ Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research.
She received her medical degree from the University of Miami as part of the Honors Program in Medicine and obtained her Masters of Public Health from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. Dr. Wang completed a combined Internal Medicine and Pediatric residency at Georgetown University Hospital and then served as an Epidemic Intelligence Service officer for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Board of Directors
Charles Gore Medicines Patent Pool
Charles Gore is the Executive Director of the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP). Following a career in patient representation and public health advocacy, he took up the post in July 2018 to guide MPP in its expansion into new areas covered by the WHO Essential Medicines List.
He was diagnosed with hepatitis C in 1995 and cirrhosis in 1998. In 2000 he set up The Hepatitis C Trust in the UK which he ran for 18 years. In 2002 he was treated and cured of the virus. He helped create the European Liver Patients Association and was its first President in 2004. In 2007 he established the World Hepatitis Alliance and was President until December 2017. As a result of advocacy by the Alliance, WHO adopted successive viral hepatitis resolutions in 2010, 2014 and 2016, culminating in endorsement of the goal of eliminating hepatitis B and C by 2030.
In addition to direct advocacy with over 50 Ministries of Health, Charles led on advising countries on finding sustainable domestic financing for hepatitis programs. Charles also sat on a number of national and international advisory bodies including the WHO Director-General’s HIV and Hepatitis STAC and has been a member of all the WHO guideline development groups on testing and treating viral hepatitis.
Wangsheng Li President
Mr. Wangsheng Li is the founding president of The Hepatitis Fund’s Board of Directors and is also acting as its Chief Executive Officer (pro-bono). For ten years, Wangsheng was president of ZeShan Foundation; in that capacity he led ZeShan’s grantmaking programs and spearheaded the foundation’s response to viral hepatitis as a global health threat. He was instrumental in forming a tripartite partnership between the US CDC, World Health Organization and ZeShan Foundation, which eventually led to the creation of The Hepatitis Fund.
Wangsheng has had a long career in the non-profit sector, particularly in public health and in the advancement of philanthropy. Prior to joining ZeShan, Mr. Li was the associate director of the Yale-China Association and directed the association’s first major expansion in China since its forced exit from China in early 1950s. For over six years, he was a program manager at MetLife Foundation and the company’s corporate contributions program, where he implemented many innovative programs to promote art’s intrinsic value in children’s learning and overall development, in quality of life for the elderly, and in bringing together diverse communities through arts and culture. Early in his career, he taught in universities and served on the editorial boards for several publications. He served as a review panelist for the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Business Committee for the Arts, and the Institute of International Education. He has also served on the boards of several organizations, including the Asian American Arts Alliance, the New Asia College of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, the Yale Club of Hong Kong, and the Chung Kin-Kwok Education Foundation.
Oversight and Steering Committees
We thank members of the EndHep2030 steering committee and oversight committee who supported the emergence of this initiative.
Nicole M. Smith
Mike van der Ven
Ying-ru Jacqueline Lo