Our funders’ coalition has started out the new year in a spirit of renewal

Following online voting by the GloPID-R membership in January, we now have a new Executive Board. To mark the official handover, a meeting of all Board members, past and current, took place on February 13. In this Editorial, Mongezi Mdhluli, our newly elected Chair, and Barbara Kerstiens, an active member on the previous Board, share their ambitions for GloPID-R in 2024.

We would like first to extend a warm welcome to the members of the newly elected Board. As we all know, serving on the Board means committing time and energy, and we thank them for accepting this responsibility. Their diverse backgrounds and areas of expertise will certainly be of great value as we make key decisions and advance GloPID-R’s initiatives. We look forward to working together in a spirit of collegiality.

We also wish to express our sincere thanks to the outgoing Board members for their unwavering commitment to serving our funders’ alliance over the past years. As the new leadership of GloPID-R tackles the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, we are reassured and grateful to know we can count on the guidance and support of Charu, Yazdan and Shoji.

Acknowledging the huge amount of work that has been done in the last few years with essential support from the GloPID-R Secretariat, the new Board will immediately begin to address the pressing issues facing GloPID-R today.

We expect 2024 to be a very active year, as we have several ambitions for GloPID-R:

  • Reacting to public health emergencies, when and whenever they occur – this of course remains at the core of our work. We are committed to making sure that GloPID-R continues to add value to ensure research preparedness and response is optimal.
  • Reinstating the GloPID-R Scientific Advisory Board, with a clearly defined role and suitable composition;
  • Expanding our collaboration with World Health Organization teams to ensure the necessary synergies and complementarities with our global network of research funders;
  • Moving forward with the development and implementation of the GloPID-R coordinated funding mechanism;
  • Further supporting the work of the Asia-Pacific and Africa Regional Hubs and the development of a South America Hub.

In addition to these specific priorities, we will need to increase our efforts towards achieving a more balanced representation and strong engagement of all regions of the globe in the GloPID-R network.

Now that the acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic is behind us, we must ensure that we understand and apply the ‘lessons learnt’ to emerge from the COVID-19 crisis as coordinated funders – more aligned, more efficient, and better prepared to respond to future infectious disease outbreaks.

We are confident that the Board will work together with mutual support and respect, keeping the lines of communication open to promote fruitful discussion and effective decisions.

Our sincere thanks to the GloPID-R membership for their trust as we embark on a new phase of the GloPID-R adventure with revitalized commitment and energy.

Best regards,
Barbara Kerstiens
Mongezi Mdhluli

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The GloPID-R Secretariat is a project which receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101094188.