Jaime Sepulveda // Mexico’s Feasible Path Towards Reducing Premature Mortality

Reducing deaths of mothers and children has been a longstanding priority for Mexico. But new research shows that non-communicable diseases require urgent attention in the country in order to meet is commitment to the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

In 2015, countries adopted these goals to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all as part of a  new sustainable development agenda. The SDGs identify targets to achieve over the next 15 years—including reducing premature mortality by 40 percent—particularly among mothers, children and people with non-communicable diseases.

In this lecture, Dr. Jaime Sepulveda, executive director of global health sciences at the University of California, San Francisco, addressed how Mexico may need to allocate new resources—or reallocate existing ones—for these conditions to have an impact on overall mortality and life expectancy. This lecture was hosted by the USC Institute for Global Health.

Jaime Sepulveda, M.D., M.P.H., M.Sc., Dr.Sc.

Haile T. Debas Distinguished Professor in Global Health
Executive Director, Global Health Sciences

University of California, San Francisco

Dr. Jaime Sepulveda is the Executive Director of UCSF Global Health Sciences, Professor of Epidemiology, and the Haile T. Debas Distinguished Professor of Global Health at the University of California, San Francisco. A member of the Chancellor’s Executive Cabinet, he leads a team of over 260 faculty and staff engaged in translating UCSF’s scientific leadership into programs that positively impact health and reduce inequities globally.

Sepulveda’s areas of research expertise include HIV/AIDS, vaccines, health surveillance and metrics, neglected infectious diseases, maternal & neonatal health, health policy, and global health initiatives.

From 2007 to 2011, Dr. Sepulveda was a member of the Foundation Leadership Team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He served at the BMGF in various roles: as Director of Integrated Health Solutions, Director of Special Initiatives and Senior Fellow in the Global Health Program. Dr. Sepulveda worked closely with key foundation partners—including the GAVI Alliance, where he chaired the Executive Committee—to increase access to vaccines and other effective health solutions in developing countries.

Sepulveda worked for more than 20 years in a variety of senior health posts in the Mexican government. After graduating from Harvard University where he obtained his Doctorate, he became Mexico’s Director-General of Epidemiology. At age 36, he was appointed Vice-Minister of Health. From 2003 to 2006, he served as Director of the National Institutes of Health of Mexico. He was for almost a decade Director-General of Mexico’s National Institute of Public Health and Dean of the National School of Public Health.

In addition to his research credentials, Sepulveda is an experienced implementer of effective health programs. Sepulveda designed Mexico’s Universal Vaccination Program, which eliminated polio, measles, and diphtheria by achieving universal childhood immunization coverage. He also modernized the national health surveillance system, created the National Health Surveys System and founded Mexico’s National AIDS Council.

Sepulveda holds a medical degree from National Autonomous University of Mexico and two Masters and a Doctorate degree from Harvard University. In 1997, he was awarded the Harvard’s Alumni Award of Merit. Dr. Sepulveda was elected to and served in the Harvard Board of Overseers (2002-2008). He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine, and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.