Great Decisions | The World Health Organization’s Response to Covid-19


September 29


06:00 pm - 07:00 pm

Event Category:

Great Decisions

The Covid-19 pandemic has thrust the World Health Organization (WHO) into the limelight, for better and for worse. While some of the Trump administration’s criticism of the organization is unfair, the response to the early stages of the pandemic left many experts wanting more from the WHO. What is the WHO’s role in responding to international pandemics? What can be done to improve the WHO’s response to future global health crises?

Dr. Kelley Lee is trained in International Relations and Public Administration with a focus on international political economy. She spent over twenty years at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She was a core member of donor-led studies of WHO reform during the 1990s. She co-established the WHO Collaborating Centre on Global Change and Health, and chaired the WHO Resource Group on Globalization, Trade and Health. Her research focuses on the impacts of globalization on population health, and the ways collective action and global governance can mitigate these impacts. Her current research, leading the Pandemics and Borders Project, focuses on the use of cross-border measures (travel and trade) during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the implications for global responses governed by the WHO International Health Regulations. She is also working with leading scholars worldwide to advance the conceptualization and measurement of the commercial determinants of health.

Dr. Lee has authored 130+ peer-reviewed papers, 60+ book chapters and 15 books including The World Health Organization (Routledge, 2009), Researching Corporations and Global Health Governance (Rowman and Littlefield International with Ben Hawkins, 2016), and the Oxford Handbook of Global Health Politics (OUP with Colin McInnes and Jeremy Youde, 2020). She joined the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University in 2011 as Associate Dean, Research and Director of Global Health. She is a Fellow of the UK Faculty of Public Health, Royal College of Physicians, Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

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