A Devex Newsmaker Event

On the Horizon: A conversation on the future of global health innovation with Trevor Mundel

DECEMBER 14, 2021 - 10 a.m. ET | 4 p.m. CET


Hosted by:

Presenting Partner:


The Novartis Foundation

About the Event

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the profile and importance of global health innovations into stark relief. Genomic tracking and mapping, digital health innovations, and messenger RNA technology took on new relevance as these existing tools were applied to an urgent and ubiquitous problem. With the accompanying surge in global health research and development, the pandemic has become a unique moment of opportunity — inspiring conversations around what is going right, what needs to be done better, and how COVID-19 innovations can be applied to other diseases.

And yet, while attention on research and development has soared, the perennial global health challenges of building supply chains and capacity, bringing costs down, and encouraging creativity and innovation from the private sector remain critical issues.

Join Devex Senior Reporter Catherine Cheney on Tuesday, Dec. 14, at 10 a.m. ET (4 p.m. CET) for a conversation with Trevor Mundel, president of the global health division of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on the status of the global health research and development ecosystem nearly two years into the COVID-19 pandemic and what recent developments mean for the future of vaccines, diagnostics, therapeutics, and access.

The conversation will be followed by closing remarks from Sarah Des Rosiers, associate director of population health for the Novartis Foundation.



10 a.m. ET

Opening remarks

• Catherine Cheney, Senior Reporter, Devex

10:05 a.m. ET

One-on-one interview


• Trevor Mundel, President of Global Health, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
• Moderator: Catherine Cheney, Senior Reporter, Devex

10:35 a.m. ET

Closing Remarks

• Catherine Cheney, Senior Reporter, Devex
• Sarah Des Rosiers, Associate Director of Population Health, The Novartis Foundation


Trevor Mundel

Trevor Mundel

President of Global Health, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Trevor Mundel leads the foundation’s efforts to develop high-impact interventions against the leading causes of death and disability in developing countries. He manages the foundation’s disease-specific R&D investments in HIV, Tuberculosis, Malaria, Pneumonia, Enteric and Diarrheal Diseases, and Neglected Tropical Diseases. He also manages cross-cutting product development programs, including Discovery & Translational Sciences, Innovative Technology Solutions, Integrated Development, and Vaccine Development & Surveillance. This work relies on close collaboration with an international network of grantees and partners. Prior to joining the foundation in 2011, Trevor was global head of development with Novartis and previously was involved in clinical research at Pfizer and Parke-Davis. Born and raised in South Africa, Trevor earned his bachelor’s and medical degrees from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. He also studied mathematics, logic, and philosophy as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, and he earned a Ph.D. in mathematics at the University of Chicago.

Sarah Des Rosiers

Sarah Des Rosiers

Associate Director of Population Health, The Novartis Foundation

Sarah joined the Novartis Foundation in 2020 and in her role is responsible for implementing CV population health initiatives and for building cross-sectoral partnerships on data and digital health in low-middle income countries. Prior to joining Novartis, Sarah worked as a management consultant for PwC’s healthcare practice and advised major pharmaceutical companies on their strategy & operations, market access strategies and digital transformations. She worked on several assignments with global health organizations to monitor the implementation and performance of programs in HIV, TB, malaria and essential medications. Sarah held various roles at WHO, UNAIDS and CHAI in the areas of access to medicines, health systems strengthening and monitoring & evaluation. She has extensive experiences working with local health authorities and partners in Brazil, Senegal, Kenya, Tanzania, Cameroon and Haiti. Sarah holds an MSc in International Health Policy & Economics (LSE) and an MBA (University of St. Gallen, Switzerland). She is a Haitian-Canadian national and lives in Basel, Switzerland with her family.

Catherine Cheney

Catherine Cheney

Senior Reporter, Devex

Catherine Cheney is a Senior Reporter for Devex. She covers the West Coast of the U.S., focusing on the role of technology, innovation, and philanthropy in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. And she frequently represents Devex as a speaker and moderator. Prior to joining Devex, Catherine earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Yale University, worked as a web producer for POLITICO and reporter for World Politics Review, and helped to launch NationSwell. Catherine has reported domestically and internationally for outlets including The Atlantic and the Washington Post. Catherine also works for the Solutions Journalism Network, a non profit that trains and connects reporters to cover responses to problems.

The Novartis Foundation aims to improve the health of low-income populations by working with local authorities and partners to re-engineer health systems from being reactive to proactive, predictive and preventative.

The Novartis Foundation