Derek Yach has focused his career on advancing global health. He is currently the Executive Director of the Vitality Institute.
Prior to that he was Senior Vice President of Global Health and Agriculture Policy at PepsiCo where he supported portfolio transformation and led engagement with major international groups as well as new African initiatives at the nexus of agriculture and nutrition. He has headed global health at the Rockefeller Foundation, been a Professor of Global Health at Yale University, and is a former Executive Director for Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health of the World Health Organization (WHO). At WHO, Dr. Yach served as cabinet director under Director-General Gro Harlem Brundtland, where he led the development of WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and the Global Strategy on Diet and Physical Activity. Dr Yach established the Centre for Epidemiological Research at the South African Medical Research Council. He has authored or co-authored over 200 articles covering the breadth of global health, regularly publishes blog posts, and is cited by the Huffington Post, The New York Times and The Economist.
Dr Yach serves on several advisory boards including those of the Clinton Global Initiative, the New York Academy of Sciences, the NIH’s Fogarty International Centre, and the Mass General Global Health Board. He is Chairman of the Board of Cornerstone Capital and sits on the Lancet Commission for Planetary Health. He is also the Chair of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Ageing.
His degrees include an MBChB from the University of Cape Town, BSc (Hons Epi) from the University of Stellenbosch; an MPH from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; and a DSc (Honoris Causa) from Georgetown University. He lives in Connecticut, USA and is an avid swimmer.