Dr Adelheid Onyango was appointed Director of the Universal Health Coverage/ Healthier Populations Cluster in April 2021. She provides strategic leadership for the WHO work with governments, development partners, civil society groups and communities to promote and protect the health and well-being of all population groups in the WHO African Region. This includes developing multisector policies and implementing programmes in climate change, the environment and health; social and economic determinants of health; nutrition and food safety; tobacco control and prevention of noncommunicable diseases; and the prevention of violence, injuries and disabilities.
Dr Onyango joined WHO at its headquarters in Geneva in 1998. For more than 16 years she contributed to WHO’s normative work in child growth and nutrition, generating and translating scientific evidence into normative standards and developing tools and approaches for their application in clinical and public health. She came to the WHO Regional Office in 2014 to lead the Nutrition and Food Safety programme. In that role, she helped to build strong interagency partnerships for nutrition across Africa.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Kenyatta University in Nairobi and a Master of Science and doctorate degrees in nutrition from McGill University in Canada. Her career spans academia, research and public health policy and programming.