Maria Neira

Director of Public Health & Environment at WHO (Spain)

Maria Neira holds a degree in Medicine and Surgery by the University of Oviedo, and a specialization in Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases from the Université René Déscartes in Paris. She then obtained a Master’s in Public Health from the Université Pierre et Marie Curie, in Paris, as well as a University Diploma in Human Nutrition. Lastly, she obtained an International Diploma in Emergency Preparedness and Crisis Management from the University of Geneva, Switzerland. 

Maria Neira began as Medical Coordinator with Médecins sans Frontières within refugee camps in Salvador and Honduras during the armed conflict. She then obtained extensive field experience working, for five years, as Public Health Adviser in the Ministry of Health in Mozambique and in Kigali, Rwanda, where she served as UN Public Health Advisor/Physician for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). 

Since 1993, she has been working for WHO, with her first assignment being Coordinator of the Global Task Force on Cholera Control and then being appointed in 1999 as Director of the Department of Control, Prevention and Eradication. Between 2002 and 2005, she was Vice Minister of Health and Consumer Affairs in Spain and President of the Spanish Food Safety and Nutrition Agency. Since 2005, Maria Neira has been the Director of the Department of Public Health and Environment at the WHO. 

Among other distinctions, Maria Neira has been awarded the Médaille de l'Ordre du Mérite National by the Government of France, the Spanish National Nutrition Strategy Award, the Mujer Extraordinaria Award by Queen Letizia of Spain, and she is currently a member of the Royal Academy of Medicine of Asturias. 

14:30 – 14:45 | TALK

thursday august 31st

17 Goals to Transform our World: Restoring Trust and Inspiring Hope

Virtual session