Bill Gates Foundation’s Tachi Yamada to step down as global health president


SEATTLE — The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced Feb. 14 that Dr. Tachi Yamada will retire as president of the Global Health Program, a position he held for five years.

“Tachi has done a great job of focusing our ability to create and deliver vaccines and other interventions to the people who need them the most,” Bill Gates, co-chair of the Gates Foundation, said in a statement. “He has put our global health programs on a path to success, and we look forward to building on his work.”

During his tenure, Yamada transformed the way the program tackles the diseases and health conditions of the poor.

Yamada will remain in his role until June. The Foundation is undertaking a global search for his successor.

“It has been my greatest privilege to be able to impact the lives of so many people in need,” Yamada said. “I will always cherish the friendship and collaboration of my outstanding colleagues who have been my partners in this endeavor.”

Yamada’s responsibilities have included leading the Foundation’s efforts to help develop and deliver low-cost, life-saving health tools for the developing world.

He has also overseen Global Health’s grantmaking, which focuses on four major activities: discovery, development, delivery and advocacy.

Yamada previously served as chairman of research and development and was a member of the board of directors at GlaxoSmithKline.

Prior to that, he was chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School and physician-in-chief at the University of Michigan Medical Center.

Yamada is a past president of the American Gastroenterological Association and the Association of American Physicians, a master of the American College of Physicians, and a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science in the United States and the Academy of Medical Sciences in the United Kingdom.

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