Daniel Tarantola, adjunct professor of research in the USC Program on Global Health & Human Rights, worked nearly two decades with the World Health Organization on large-scale international health programs. In this lecture April 13, 2016, he drew on concrete examples that marked the evolution of international and global health—since the historical eradication of smallpox to the contemporary emergence, or recognition of, spiraling public health issues—to illustrate the complexities of a decision-making dilemma: to eradicate, eliminate, control or neglect disease?

Daniel Tarantola

Adjunct Professor of Research
USC Program on Global Health & Human Rights

Professor Daniel Tarantola was born and educated in France. Upon completing his medical education at Paris University, he worked for health-dedicated organizations in Africa and South-East Asia prior to joining the World Health Organization-led Smallpox Eradication Programme in Bangladesh. Having served this programme until the emergence and recovery of the last case in Asia, he pursued his association with WHO in several countries in Asia and the Pacific Region where, cumulatively, he had spent over 12 years by the time he was reassigned to the Geneva WHO Headquarters, in 1984.

There, his work initially focused on health programme evaluation, but shifted to HIV/AIDS when, in 1987, WHO launched its Global Programme on AIDS. As a member of the GPA-founding WHO executive team, Dr. Tarantola assumed the senior position of head of National AIDS Programme Support.

In 1991, having resigned from WHO and joined the faculty of the Harvard School of Public Health as a researcher and a lecturer, he taught, coached students and published extensively on HIV/AIDS. In 1996-1998, he served as a Senior Advisor to the Executive Director of the newly founded United Nations Co-sponsored Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). In 1998, he rejoined WHO as a Senior Policy Adviser to the newly elected Director General, a post which he held until he retired from WHO in 2004. During the last 3 years of his work with WHO, Dr. Tarantola was also the Director of the Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals.

Soon after his retirement from WHO, he joined the Faculty of Medicine of the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, as a Professor of Health and Human Rights. In 2010, having completed his five-year tenure at the UNSW, Dr Tarantola returned to his home country, France, while keeping an affiliation to this university until July 2013. During and after this period, he conducted a number of consultancies for international organizations, in particular in the areas of policy, strategic and impact evaluation related to HIV and to childhood immunization. In 2013-2015, as he had done a few years earlier in Thailand, Myanmar and Sri-Lanka, he led formal reviews of National Health Sector Responses to HIV in Cambodia, the Philippines, the Lao Democratic Republic and Vietnam. In addition, he led the External Evaluation of the WHO Regional Immunization Programme in Africa, (2013) and provided technical input to the formulation of the Global Action Plan for the Decade of Vaccine (2012-2013) and to the 2014-2020Regional Strategy on Immunization for Africa (2013-2014). He is currently collaborating with the HIV Department of WHO on the production of a consolidated guidance document for the monitoring and evaluation of HIV prevention, care and treatment. He is a permanent member of the Technical Review Panel of the Global Fund to combat AIDS, TB and Malaria since 2012 and a member of the African Region Task Force on Immunization since 2013.