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Global Health Advisory Board

The Global Health Advisory Board is comprised of leaders with diverse backgrounds from the private sector, NGOs, and health care consultancies around the world. With Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands as Honorary Chair, the Board oversees the McMaster-Maastricht partnership and provides the program’s strategic direction.

Board Members

Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands (Honorary Chair)

Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet was born in Ottawa during the Second World War as Princess of the Netherlands, Princess of Orange-Nassau, and Princess of Lippe-Biesterfeld.

With a passion for health and culture, Princess Margriet has dedicated her work to making heard the voices of victims of disasters, diseases and armed conflicts. From 1987-2011, she served as Vice President of the Dutch Red Cross, and chaired the Standing Commission of the Red Cross and Red Crescent from 1995-2003. She was also President of the European Cultural Foundation from 1984-2007.

Today, Princess Margriet is a member of the Board of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and holds many honorary positions, including Patroness of Vision 2020 Netherlands.


Thijs Teeling (Chair)

Thijs Teeling has held several senior management positions in the life sciences sector. Until recently, he was Vice President of International Project Development within Dräger Medical AG. In this role, he was responsible for the development of institutional projects worldwide, focusing on emerging markets, key accounts, and financing institutions.

Currently, Teeling runs his own consulting company, Covalence, and is Chair of Task Force Health Care, a partnership between the Dutch government, the medical technological industry, NGOs, and educational institutions.

He is also Co-Chair of the Working Group of Healthcare Russian-Netherlands Intergovernmental Commission, and a member of several advisory boards.


Luis Barreto

Luis Barreto is President of Luis Barreto & Associates, a consultancy focusing on vaccine development, immunization, science policy, global health and biotechnology. He is former Vice-President, Immunisation and Science Policy for Sanofi Pasteur, where he held a number of other senior management positions for over 23 years. He has served as an epidemiologist for the government of the Northwest Territories and was an Assistant Professor in Community Medicine at St. John Medical College in Bangalore, India. He has led the clinical development and licensure of many vaccines against infectious diseases globally and has published extensively in international journals.

Currently, he is Senior Advisor to the Vaccine Program, Human Health Therapeutics at the National Research Council, the Advanced Medical Research Institute Canada (AMRIC), and Health Sciences North. He is also Senior Advisor to Biosciences Education Canada and a Chair of the judging panel for the National Sanofi BioGENEius Student Challenge.


Mary Heersink

Mary Heersink is an internationally known food safety advocate and author of E. coli 0157: The True Story of A Mother’s Battle With A Killer Microbe.

Her encounters with ineffective government agencies led her to found S.T.O.P. (STOP Foodborne Illness), a national grassroots public health organization dedicated to preventing illness and death from foodborne pathogens.

Heersink has served on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.

She has also testified before the US Congress and is frequently asked to present at scientific meetings, both nationally and internationally.


Priscilla Reddy

Priscilla Reddy is Acting Executive Director, Population Health, Health Systems and Innovation (PHHSI), Human Sciences Research Council, South Africa. She was inducted into the Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame in an awards ceremony held in conjunction with the Forum of University Nursing Deans in South Africa (FUNDISA).

Published widely in international journals, her research has covered a range of topics, from the determinants of behaviour of young people to the health education behaviour of nurses in primary health care settings.
Dr. Reddy has served on internationally significant committees, including the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science. The committee was responsible for making recommendations to the US Congress. She has also contributed to several health policies and programs in South Africa, including tobacco control legislation.

Jeff Mainland

Jeff Mainland was promoted to the position of Executive Vice-President in September 2012. Joining SickKids in 2004, Mainland served as Vice-President, Strategy, Performance and Communications, prior to taking on his current role.

Today, Mainland is responsible for a diverse range of departments and programs including: enterprise performance management, health system integration, communications, public affairs, government relations, SickKids International, and more.

Before joining SickKids, he served as Chief of Staff to a provincial cabinet minister and deputy premier and held leadership positions in the Ontario public service with two ministries. Prior to that, he worked in nuclear medicine in the hospital sector, and in forensic pathology with the Office of the Chief Coroner for Ontario. Mainland is a member of the Rotman School of Management Healthcare & Life Sciences Advisory Board at the University of Toronto, and acts as a preceptor for a number of Canadian graduate programs in business and health administration.


Elizabeth Witmer

Elizabeth Witmer was appointed Chair of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) in May 2012, bringing to the role 32 years of public service experience. From 1990-2012, she served as a Member of the Provincial Parliament in the Province of Ontario – and is the longest serving female MPP in Ontario’s history. During that time, she was Deputy Premier, Minister of Labour, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, Minister of Environment, and Minister of Education.

As Minister of Health, Witmer introduced Telehealth (a phone-based health advisory service), and the first universal flu vaccine in North America. She also expanded the scope of practice for nurses and introduced the first provincial strategy for Alzheimer’s disease. Her leadership, advocacy, and accomplishments have been acknowledged with many prestigious awards, including the International Philippe Pinel Award in recognition of her contribution to mental health reform, and the Social Work Doctors Award of Merit to recognize her commitment to a just and caring society.