McMaster University

McMaster University

Global Health Advisory Board

Stewardship is provided by the program’s Global Advisory Board — with Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands as Honorary Chair. Made up of leaders from the business world, international NGOs and healthcare consultancies as far-spread as Japan, Africa and Switzerland, the board oversees the partnership between McMaster and Maastricht and provides the program’s strategic direction.

Princess Margriet of the Netherlands

Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands (Honorary Chair)

The Netherlands

Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet was born in Ottawa during the Second World War as Princess of the Netherlands, Princess of Orange-Nassau, and Princess of Lippe-Biesterfeld.

With a passion for health and culture, Princess Margriet has dedicated her work to making heard the voices of victims of disasters, diseases and armed conflicts. From 1987-2011, she served as Vice President of the Dutch Red Cross, and chaired the Standing Commission of the Red Cross and Red Crescent from 1995-2003. She was also President of the European Cultural Foundation from 1984-2007.

Today, Princess Margriet is a member of the Board of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and holds many honorary positions, including Patroness of Vision 2020 Netherlands.

Elizabeth Witmer

Elizabeth Witmer (Chair)


Elizabeth Witmer was appointed Chair of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) in May 2012, bringing to the role 32 years of public service experience.

From 1990-2012, Witmer served as a Member of the Provincial Parliament in the Province of Ontario – and is the longest serving female MPP in Ontario’s history. During that time, she was Deputy Premier, Minister of Labour, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Minister of Environment, and Minister of Education.

As Minister of Health, Witmer introduced Telehealth (a phone-based health advisory service), and the first universal flu vaccine in North America. She also expanded the scope of practice for nurses and introduced the first provincial strategy for Alzheimer’s disease.

Her leadership, advocacy, and accomplishments have been acknowledged with many prestigious awards, including the International Philippe Pinel Award in recognition of her contribution to mental health reform, and the Social Work Doctors Award of Merit to recognize her commitment to a just and caring society.

Abbas Gullet

Abbas Gullet


Abbas Gullet is Secretary-General of the Kenya Red Cross Society – a position he has held since May 2005.

Since the late 1980s, he has served as an International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) delegate in various parts of the world. His last position with the Federation was as Director of Operations and Deputy Secretary-General in Geneva.

Starting his career as a volunteer, Gullet then became a youth officer and eventually began working internationally. Between January 2001 and December 2002, IFRC seconded him as Secretary-General of the Kenya Red Cross Society to lead the organization out of a period of organizational crisis.

Mary Heersink

Mary Heersink

United States

Mary Heersink is an internationally known food safety advocate and author of E. coli 0157: The True Story of A Mother’s Battle With A Killer Microbe.

Her encounters with ineffective government agencies led her to found S.T.O.P. (STOP Foodborne Illness), a national grassroots public health organization dedicated to preventing illness and death from foodborne pathogens.

Heersink has served on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. She has also testified before the US Congress and is frequently asked to present at scientific meetings, both nationally and internationally.

Priscilla Reddy

Priscilla Reddy

South Africa

Dr. Priscilla Reddy is Director of the Medical Research Council’s Health Promotion Research and Development Unit of South Africa. She was inducted into the Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame in an awards ceremony held in conjunction with the Forum of University Nursing Deans in South Africa (FUNDISA).

Published widely in international journals, her research has covered a range of topics, from the determinants of behaviour of young people to the health education behaviour of nurses in primary health care settings.

Dr. Reddy has served on internationally significant committees, including the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science. The committee was responsible for making recommendations to the US Congress.

She has also contributed to several health policies and programmes in South Africa, including tobacco control legislation.

Thijs Teeling

Thijs Teeling

The Netherlands

Dr. Thijs Teeling has held several senior management positions in the life sciences sector. Until recently, he was Vice President of International Project Development within Dräger Medical AG. In this role, he was responsible for the development of institutional projects worldwide, focusing on emerging markets, key accounts, and financing institutions.

Currently, Dr. Teeling runs his own consulting company, Covalence, and is Chair of Task Force Health Care, a partnership between the Dutch government, the medical technological industry, NGOs, and educational institutions. He is also Co-Chair of the Working Group of Healthcare Russian-Netherlands Intergovernmental Commission, and a member of several advisory boards.

Luis Barreto

Luis Barreto


Dr. Barreto is President of Luis Barreto & Associates, a consultancy focusing on vaccine development, immunization, science policy, global health and biotechnology. He is former Vice-President, Immunisation and Science Policy for Sanofi Pasteur, where he held a number of other senior management positions for over 23 years.

Dr. Barreto has served as an epidemiologist for the government of the Northwest Territories and was an Assistant Professor in Community Medicine at St. John Medical College in Bangalore, India. He has led the clinical development and licensure of many vaccines against infectious diseases globally and has published extensively in international journals.

Currently, Dr. Barreto is a Senior Advisor to the Vaccine Program, Human Health Therapeutics at the National Research Council, the Advanced Medical Research Institute Canada (AMRIC), and Health Sciences North. He is also Senior Advisor to Biosciences Education Canada and a Chair of the judging panel for the National Sanofi BioGENEius Student Challenge.

Jeff Mainland


Jeff MainlandJeff Mainland was promoted to the position of Executive Vice-President in September 2012. Joining SickKids in 2004, Mainland served as Vice-President, Strategy, Performance and Communications, prior to taking on his current role.

Today, Mainland is responsible for a diverse range of departments and programs including: enterprise performance management, health system integration, communications, public affairs, government relations, SickKids International, and more.

Before joining SickKids, he served as Chief of Staff to a provincial cabinet minister and deputy premier and held leadership positions in the Ontario public service with two ministries. Prior to that, he worked in nuclear medicine in the hospital sector, and in forensic pathology with the Office of the Chief Coroner for Ontario.

Mainland is a member of the Rotman School of Management Healthcare & Life Sciences Advisory Board at the University of Toronto, and acts as a preceptor for a number of Canadian graduate programs in business and health administration.

K. Srinath Reddy


K. Srinath ReddyK. Srinath Reddy is presently President, Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) and former head of the Department of Cardiology at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). He is also an Adjunct Professor of the Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University and Honorary Professor of Medicine at the University of Sydney.

Widely regarded as a leader of preventive cardiology at national and international levels, Prof. Reddy has been a researcher, teacher, policy enabler, advocate and activist who has worked to promote cardiovascular health, tobacco control, appropriate nutrition across the life course, chronic disease prevention, and healthy living across the lifespan.

Dr. Reddy edited the National Medical Journal of India for 10 years and is on editorial board of several international and national journals. He has more than 400 scientific publications in international and Indian peer reviewed-journals.

He has served on many WHO expert panels, has been the President of the World Heart Federation (2013-14), and his contributions to public health have been recognized through several awards and honours.


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