MEI welcomes new Co-Director Chris White

It is our pleasure to welcome Chris White as the new Co-Director of the Malaria Elimination Initiative (MEI) at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Global Health Group. Chris is based at MEI’s global headquarters in San Francisco and will work directly and collaboratively with fellow MEI Co-Director Roly Gosling based at MEI’s southern Africa headquarters in Windhoek, Namibia. In his role as Co-Director, Chris will provide strategic leadership across MEI’s portfolio, with a specific focus on advocacy, policy, and resource mobilization for elimination and eradication, and overall strategy in Asia Pacific.

Chris is a malaria specialist and global health advocate with over two decades of experience. His professional life began in the British military, serving on operations in East Africa and Northern Ireland for five years, before completing undergraduate studies in Zoology at the University of Nottingham in 1996. During this period his growing interest in entomology culminated in a number of expeditions to the Peruvian Amazon on behalf of the Smithsonian Institution and with the approval of the Royal Geographic Society. After graduation, a year in the Usambara mountains of Tanzania cemented a desire to complete graduate studies in Medical Entomology & Parasitology at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM), where he was awarded the Jervis Prize in 1998 for research on the potential negative relationship between intensified peri-urban agriculture and the population density of malaria vectors in West Africa.

Chris’ post-LSTM career was initially focused on vector-borne disease control in humanitarian emergencies, working for non-governmental agencies and the United Nations. He later shifted to longer-term development work with Population Services International, providing malaria-related technical assistance and training support throughout sub-Saharan Africa and the Asia-Pacific. More recently, Chris has focused on global, regional and in-country advocacy for malaria elimination and spent the past few years leading the malaria advocacy investment portfolio at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle.

Founded in 2007, the MEI at the UCSF Global Health Group believes a malaria-free world is possible within a generation. As a forward-thinking partner to malaria-eliminating countries and regions, the MEI generates evidence, develops new tools and approaches, documents and disseminates elimination experiences, and builds consensus to shrink the malaria map. Chris joins the MEI as the initiative embarks on a second decade of impact – partnering with countries and regions to accelerate progress to end the burden of malaria once and for all.