Commission Chair: Professor Sir Michael Marmot

Professor Sir Michael Marmot is the Director of the International Institute for Society and Health and a Research Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at the Medical Research Council at University College in London. He has led a research group on health inequalities for the past 30 years and is Principal Investigator of the Whitehall Studies of British civil servants, investigating explanations for the striking inverse social gradient in morbidity and mortality. He leads the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) and is engaged in several international research efforts on the social determinants of health. He chairs the Department of Health Scientific Reference Group on tackling health inequalities. He was a member of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution for six years and is an honorary fellow of the British Academy.

In 2000, Prof. Marmot was knighted by Her Majesty The Queen for services to Epidemiology and understanding health inequalities. Internationally acclaimed, Prof. Marmot is a Vice President of the Academia Europaea, a Foreign Associate Member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM), and Chair of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health established by the World Health Organization in 2005. He won the Balzan Prize for Epidemiology in 2004, gave the Harveian Oration in 2006 and won the William B. Graham Prize for Health Services Research in 2008.

Victor Abramovich

Victor Abramovich is an Argentine lawyer who received his Juris Doctor from Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA) and his Master’s in Law from American University. He currently teaches at Universidad Nacional de Lanús and heads the Human Rights Law Clinic at UBA. His main expertise is in human rights.

Prof. Abramovich was the Second Vice President of the Inter-American Human Rights Commission (IACHR) and, from 2006 to 2009, was also the Commissioner of the IAHRC, the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women and the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Prior to that, he was the Executive Director of Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales, a prominent human rights NGO in Argentina. Additionally, Prof. Abramovich was a consultant for the IAHRC and the Inter-American Development Bank, worked with the UN Economic, Social and Cultural Rights committee and has written articles, books and law reviews concerning human rights, specifically on the impact of litigation on economic, social and cultural rights. 

Mabel Bianco

Mabel Bianco is a medical doctor and holds a Master’s in Public Health, with a specialty in Epidemiology. The current President and Founder of La Fundación para el Estudio e Investigación de la Mujer (Foundation for Studies and Research of Women), Dr. Bianco’s expertise is in gender equity. She has held teaching and research positions at the School of Public Health at Buenos Aires University and in the Research Center on Epidemiology at the National Academy of Medicine.

In addition to advocating for sexual and reproductive health rights for women, Dr. Bianco has worked significantly on HIV/AIDS.  She was General Secretary of the Latin American & Caribbean Council of AIDS Service Organizations from 1997-1999, Director of the Argentine National AIDS Program from 2000-2001 and member of the UNAIDS Reference Group on HIV and Human Rights from 2002-2011.

Cindy Blackstock

Executive Director, First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada, Professor, School of Social Work, McGill University

A member of the Gitksan First Nation and has 30 years of social work experience in Indigenous children’s rights and children’s engagement in reconciliation. Prof. Blacktock is the author of over 60 publications and has assisted the UN in developing various works on children and indigenous rights. She is best known for her role in a landmark human rights case finding the Canadian government’s flawed and inequitable provision of public services to over 165,000 First Nations children to be racially discriminatory. Research interests are on Indigenous theory, Indigenous children’s equity and children's engagement in social justice.

Jo Ivey Boufford

Jo Ivey Boufford, MD, is the President of The New York Academy of Medicine. She is Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the New York University School of Medicine and Professor Emeritus of Public Service, Health Policy and Management at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. She served as Dean of the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University from June 1997 to November 2002. Prior to that, she served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from November 1993 to January 1997, and as Acting Assistant Secretary from January 1997 to May 1997. While at HHS, she served as the U.S. representative on the Executive Board of the World Health Organization (WHO) from 1994–1997.

Before her HHS service, she served as the Director of the Kings’ Fund College, London, England from May 1991 to September 1993. She was elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 1992, served as its Foreign Secretary from July 2006 until December 2014, and was a member of its Board on Global Health from 2006-2016.  Dr. Boufford received her BA (Psychology) magna cum laude from the University of Michigan, and her MD, with distinction, from the University of Michigan Medical School. She is Board Certified in pediatrics.

Paulo Buss

Paulo Buss is a physician with a Master of Social Medicine from the Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro. He was President of Oswaldo Cruz Foundation/FIOCRUZ from 2001-2008, and then served as the Brazilian representative on the World Health Organization Executive Board until 2011. Meanwhile, from 2006-2009, Dr. Buss was an Executive Board member of the International Association of National Public Health Institutes (IANPHI).

With a specific focus on health equity, Dr. Buss has played a major role in Brazil’s rapid improvement in public health, as well as working in other regions around the world. The author of three books and over 80 technical andscientific articles, Dr. Buss has been awarded the Medical Merit Honor and the Ordem do Rio Branco by the President of Brazil. 

Nila Heredia

Nila Heredia is a Bolivian physician and also holds a Master’s Degree in Health Policies and Management. As the current Executive Secretary of the Organismo Andino de Salud (Andean Regional Health Organization), she focuses on equity and seeks to bring integration and good health to all of the Andean peoples. 

Dr. Heredia has served as the Bolivian Minister of Health and Sports on two separate occasions, from 2006-2008 and 2010-2012. Additionally, she has shown considerable commitment to providing education to others. Throughout the late 1980s she was the Acting Dean, Head and Education Director of Universidad Mayor de San Andrés (UMSA).  In the 1990s and early 2000s, she held multiple positions as Vice Chancellor of UMSA, and General Secretary and President of the Medical College of La Paz. 

Pastor Murillo

Pastor Murillo is a Colombian lawyer and expert on ethnicity and human rights. He graduated from the Universidad Autónoma de Colombia Law School and now works as a lawyer specializing in Environmental Law and Analysis of Social Problems, with a focus on Human Rights.  He currently serves as an Independent Expert for the United Nations Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.  He is also an Honorary Advisor of the Global Alliance of Mayors and Leaders from Africa and of African Descent. 

Additionally, Mr. Murillo has held important positions and is responsible for many beneficial initiatives in Colombia. He served as Human Rights Adviser to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for nine years, was the Subdirector and twice the Director of Black Community Affairs of the Ministry of Interior, and consultant and Acting Director of the Directorate of Human Rights of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  Furthermore, during negotiations of the Free Trade Agreement between the U.S. and Colombia, Mr. Murillo negotiated for the protection of migrant workers’ and families’ rights.  

Tracy Robinson

Tracy Robinson is a Jamaican and a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Law, University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona, Jamaica. She graduated with a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from UWI, a Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL) from University of Oxford and a Masters of Law (LLM) from Yale Law School.  Ms. Robinson’s concentration and expertise is in gender and sexuality, focusing on their impact on legal vulnerability and equality.

She completed a four-year term in December 2015 as a member of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). She was the Commission’s President from March 2014 to March 2015, its First Vice President between 2012 and 2014 and its Rapporteur for the Rights of Women and its first Rapporteur for the Rights of LGBTI Persons. She is also a co-founder of the Faculty of Law UWI Rights Advocacy Project (U-RAP), which works to promote human rights and social justice in the Caribbean through strategic litigation and research. Additionally, Ms Robinson has been involved in a range of legal and policy reform initiatives aimed at furthering gender equality and children’s rights in the Caribbean. She was a member of the Technical Advisory Group to the UN Global Commission on HIV/AIDS and the Law, which delivered its report in 2012.

María Paula Romo

María Paula Romo is an Ecuadorian lawyer, and is currently the Dean of Jurisprudence, Social Sciences and Communication at the International University of Ecuador. Her main focus in on gender, but she also has expertise in advocating for human rights and against violence, especially towards women. 

Ms. Romo is a co-founder of the influential and successful Ruptura 25 movement, a contemporary political affiliation in Ecuador. She earned the position of Chair of the Justice Commission of the Ecuadorian National Assembly from 2009 to 2013. In 2011, the magazine Foreign Policy designated Ms. Romo as one of the ten new, influential faces of Latin America for her commitment to democracy and to women’s rights. 

David Satcher

David Satcher is an American physician and public health administrator. He earned his Medical Doctorate from Case Western Reserve University, where he also obtained his PhD in Cell Biology. Currently, Dr. Satcher is the Director of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute (HLI) of the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, GA. As an expert in equity, ethnicity and human rights, Dr. Satcher founded the HLI as an extension of his experiences in improving public health policy for all Americans, and as a commitment to eliminating health disparities for minorities and other disadvantaged groups.

Serving dual roles as the 16th Surgeon General and the 10th Assistant Secretary for Health, Dr. Satcher reached the rank of four-star admiral in US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. From 1992-1998, Dr. Satcher also served as the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition, he held various other positions throughout his career, such as professor, chairman, dean, president and director at multiple institutions, including Morehouse School of Medicine, UCLA School of Medicine, King-Drew Medical Center, Charles R. Drew Postgraduate Medical School, King-Drew Sickle Cell Research Center and Meharry Medical College.

Cesar Victora

Cesar Victora is Emeritus Professor of Epidemiology at the Federal University of Pelotas in Brazil, where he has worked since 1977.  He has conducted extensive research in maternal and child health and nutrition, birth cohort studies, inequalities in health, and on the evaluation of the impact of major global health programs. He has contributed to numerous studies including  case-control studies on breastfeeding and infant mortality, the three Pelotas Birth Cohort Studies (1982, 1993 and 2004), the Multicenter Growth Reference Study which led to the WHO Child Growth Standards, several large-scale evaluation studies including the Multi-Country Evaluation of IMCI (Integrated Management of Childhood Illness),  and the COHORTS collaboration including the five longest-running birth cohort studies in developing countries.  He was one of the founding members and scientific coordinator of the “Countdown to 2015: Maternal, Newborn and Child Health” initiative aimed at monitoring the Millennium Development Goals for mothers and children. At the Federal University of Pelotas, he coordinates the International Center for Equity in Health. He served as the President of the International Epidemiological Association (2011-14).

Prof. Victora’s interests focus on life-course epidemiology with the continual study of the three Pelotas birth cohorts (1982, 1993 and 2004); inequalities in health; and the evaluation of interventions to improve the health of mothers and children, both within the Region and globally. His program also emphasizes training of epidemiologists