Thomas Zeltner, MD
Chairman of the WHO Foundation, Geneva (Switzerland)
Deputy Chair of the University Council of the Medical University of Vienna (Austria)
Thomas Zeltner, former Secretary of Health of Switzerland and Director-General of the Swiss National Health Authority (1991-2009), has a long history as an innovative leader in public health.
He is the founder and first chairman of the WHO Foundation established in Geneva in Mai 2020. The WHO Foundation is a grant-making organization with the objective of addressing the most pressing global health challenges of tomorrow by raising significant new funding for WHO from non-traditional sources.
Currently he also serves the Swiss Government as Co-Chair of the task force for Covid-19 vaccines. He is Deputy Chair of the University Council of the Medical University of Vienna (Austria).
Since 1992 he has been Professor of Public Health at the University of Berne. From 1991 to 2009 Thomas Zeltner has been the Director-General of the Federal Office of Public Health of Switzerland, the National Health and Public Health Authority. In this function he was a key actor in Swiss health policy. He has presided over changes to transform the Swiss health care model from one of regulated competition into a more value and consumer driven health care system.
As Secretary of State for Health, Zeltner represented Switzerland at the World Health Organization. He was member and Vice-President of WHO’s Executive Board (1999-2002). More recently he served as Special Envoy for WHO (2012-14).
Thomas Zeltner is born in Bern (Switzerland). He graduated with a MD and a Master’s degree in Law from the University of Bern. He is a 2010 Fellow of the Harvard Advanced Leadership Initiative and Doctor of Law (honoris causa) of the University of Neuchatel.