A new era, a revitalized RBM Partnership

The Roll Back Malaria Partnership (RBM), which accelerates progress towards shrinking the malaria map through harmonized action to fight malaria in endemic countries, has been revitalized to drive momentum to end malaria for good. Under new leadership and strategic direction, RBM is doubling down on its commitment to a malaria-free world and strengthening its capacity to respond to emerging issues in global malaria control and elimination.

Since its original launch in 1998, RBM has served as the global malaria community’s chief organizing force, helping forge consensus between partners, marshaling resources, and catalyzing action. Over the years, RBM has championed the expansion of global anti-malaria efforts, mobilizing unprecedented levels of political and financial commitment. After the release of two seminal global strategy documents in 2015 that set ambitious targets for malaria control and elimination (WHO’s technical roadmap, Global Technical Strategy for Malaria 2016-2030 and RBM’s parallel advocacy plan Action and Investment to defeat Malaria 2016-2030), the partnership decided to transform its organizational structure, streamline operations, and reorient its strategy to meet the new challenges in the post-2015 era.

At its 29th meeting in December 2015, the RBM Board agreed to alter its governance architecture. New bye-laws and a reconstituted Partnership Board were announced in June 2016. The new Partnership Board is led by Board Chair Dr. Winnie Mpanju-Shumbusho and supported by Board Vice-Chair Mr. Kieran Daly of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 

The full list of RBM Partnership Board Members includes:

  • Dr. Pedro L. Alonso, Director, WHO Global Malaria Programme
  • Mr. Elhadj As Sy, Secretary General, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
  • Mr. Simon Bland, Director, New York Office, UNAIDS
  • Prof. Awa Coll-Seck, Minister of Health & Social Welfare, Senegal
  • Mr. Kieran Daly, Deputy Director, Global Policy & Advocacy – Malaria, HIV, TB and the Global Fund, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Mr. Paulo Gomes, Chairman, Paulo Gomes and Partners, former Executive Director, World Bank
  • Dr. Richard Nchabi Kamwi, Elimination 8 Ambassador, former Minister of Health, Namibia
  • Dr. Altaf Lal, Senior Advisor on Global Health and Innovation, Sun Pharmaceuticals Industries
  • Dr. Winnie Mpanju-Shumbusho, former Assistant Director General – Malaria, HIV, TB, NTDs, WHO
  • Mr. Ray Nishimoto, President of Health & Crop Sciences Sector, Sumitomo Chemical
  • Dr. David Reddy, Chief Executive, Medicines for Malaria Venture
  • H.E. Yongyuth Yuthavong, former Deputy Prime Minister and former Minister of Science and Technology, Thailand
  • Rear Admiral Tim Ziemer USN (ret), Global Coordinator, US President's Malaria Initiative
  • Professor Maha Taysir Barakat, Director General of Health Authority Abu Dhabi (HAAD)
  • Dr Mirta Roses Periago, Director Emeritus of the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO)

Three Partner Committees have been established to formalize, consolidate, and amplify the three priorities of RBM. The Board has approved inaugural Co-Chairs for each Committee.

  • Advocacy and Resource Mobilization  / Co-Chairs: Alan Court (UNSEO) and Ben Rolfe (APLMA)
  • Strategic Communications  / Co-Chairs: Susan Byrnes (MNM) and Yacine Djibo (Speak Up Africa)
  • Country & Regional Support / Co-Chairs: Peter Olumese (WHO) and Melanie Renshaw (ALMA)

Committee membership is currently being constituted, with over 200 members so far, and initial meetings are presently being convened. To register interest as a partner of the new RBM, please find more information here. Beyond the Partner Committees, RBM will have working relationships with other key malaria actors such as WHO, UNICEF, the World Bank, the African Union, ASEAN, Regional Development Banks, and other mechanisms such as ALMA, APLMA, and the End Malaria Council.

RBM is in the process of finalizing the logistics and staffing of its Secretariat. Dr. Kesetebirhan Admasu, public health specialist and former Minister of Health of Ethiopia, has been appointed to the role of Chief Executive Officer of the RBM Partnership, and will commence duties on February 1, 2017. UNOPS will provide supporting infrastructure as the hosting organization for the Partnership, and recruitment of the permanent management team is underway. It’s an exciting start to a new year and a new era for the RBM partnership!

*This article was updated on January 23, 2017 to include information on the new RBM Partnership CEO.