Five Inspirational Women Shaping the Future of International Development

March 8, 2019

International Women’s Day is a golden opportunity to shine a light on women’s achievements in a range of domains and industries. We wanted to showcase five outstanding women from LIDC member institutions who have made a major impact in international development.

1) Professor Dame Anne Mills, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)

Professor Dame Anne Mills is Deputy Director & Provost and Professor of Health Economics and Policy, at one of LIDC’s founding members, LSHTM. Professor Mills has made a major contribution to health economics, especially on financing and organising health systems in low and middle income countries. What’s more, her research has demonstrated the most-effective ways of controlling malaria in African and Asian countries. In 2006, she was awarded a CBE for services to medicine and elected Foreign Associate of the US Institute of Medicine. Professor Mills continues to blaze a path in research on universal coverage in Tanzania, South Africa and Thailand. In addition, she is working to strengthen services for mothers and children.

2) Baroness Valerie Amos, SOAS University of London

We commend Baroness Amos for her outstanding, lifelong commitment to development issues, equality and human rights. She was an advisor to Nelson Mandela’s Government on leadership and change management issues. In addition, Baroness Amos has served as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office between 2001 and 2003. Subsequently she held the office of Secretary of State for International Development in 2003. In these roles, she was a strong advocate for people and communities affected by conflict, natural disasters, and other emergencies. In 2015, Baroness Amos was appointed Director of SOAS University of London.

3) Professor Joanne P. Webster, Royal Veterinary College

Professor Joanne P. Webster is spearheading global health and tropical field research and disease control across much of Africa and Asia. Between 2006 – 2014 she served as co-Director of the then newly formed Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI).  In this role she was responsible for the design, implementation and evaluation of large-scale sustainable Neglected Tropical Disease control programmes. These also focused on schistosomiasis, across sub-Saharan Africa.   The activities have provided over 273 million chemotherapeutic treatments, which represents over 90% of all treatments across sub-Saharan Africa for children and at-risk adults to date (2003-2014). Among other notable projects, Professor Webster will lead the Parasites workstream on the UKRI GCRF Action against Stunting Hub. She will be responsible for research on parasites and gut health.

4) Professor Geeta Kingdon, UCL Institute of Education

Professor Geeta Gandhi Kingdon holds the Chair of ‘Education Economics and International Development’ at UCL Institute of Education. Professor Kingdon’s research has focused on countries of South Asia where she has explored subjects including school effectiveness, and the determinants of student achievement. Furthermore she has made a major contribution to evidence-based policy making. For example, she has advised donor agencies such as the World Bank, and DFID on their education-related aid to developing countries.

5) Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer (Honorary Fellow, QMUL)

For the past nine years, Professor Dame Sally Davies has served as Chief Medical Officer for England and Chief Medical Advisor to the UK government. Prior to this, Dame Sally worked in the NHS as a consultant haematologist for 30 years. Moreover, she was the first UK medical practitioner to specialise in sickle cell disease. We applaud her for her concerted efforts to raise domestic and global awareness of antimicrobial resistance. What’s more, she has led the UK government’s response to health emergencies including Ebola and pandemic flu.