The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, have become major forces in global health. When they were still finding their feet, an Australian woman played a central role in the leadership of both organisations, helping them to move beyond startup mode, navigate through thorny policy debates and attract unprecedented levels of support from donors.
After 20 years in the Australian public service, working on indigenous health, HIV/AIDS and immunisation, Helen Evans was recruited to the Global Fund as its first Deputy Executive Director in 2005. She later moved into a similar role at Gavi. She returned to Australia in 2014, completing a decade of work for two of the world’s biggest ‘vertical funds’. Over the course of that decade, the two organisations saved millions of lives, shaped global markets for drugs and vaccines and challenged traditional models of multilateral governance and fundraising.