Merck Exec Gets Global Health Nod : Shots - Health News Former pharmaceutical exec Jeff Sturchio is tapped to lead — wait for it — the Global Health Council, a key global health promotion group.

Merck Exec Gets Global Health Nod

Global Health Council President and CEO Jeff Sturchio Global Health Council hide caption

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Global Health Council

Pharmaceutical execs don't often garner the praise of people who promote global health, but newly-named Global Health Council President and CEO Jeff Sturchio is the exception.

Dr.Jeff Sturchio, a long time executive at Merck, was tapped to lead the world's largest international membership organization of groups working in global health today. He takes over from Dr Nils Daulaire who led the Global Health Council for a decade.

Anybody who's spent time in global health circles in the past decades has grown accustomed to the quiet presence of Sturchio on the sidelines. His last job was to run Merck's philanthropic efforts, including its HIV/AIDS access programs.

One close observer says: "If it wasn't Jeff, I'd be worried."

The Council credits Sturchio with helping to build treatment programs for people with HIV/AIDS in Botswana and expects Sturchio to bring a much needed perspective to the job, including "creating partnerships among governments, private sector groups and NGOs, especially in Africa," the council says.

He may still need to win over some folks. Global AIDS Alliance Executive Director Paul Zeitz "welcomed Jeff to the advocacy community," but added that he hopes Sturchio "makes clear his independence from pharmaceutical corporate interests."