top of page

Professor Dame Clare Gerada 

President Elect, RCGP

Co-Chair, NHS Assembly


Having first trained in psychiatry at the Maudsely hospital, Dr Clare Gerada followed her father’s footsteps and became a general practitioner, working in her practice in South London for thirty years. Over this time, alongside her clinical practice, she has held a number of national leadership positions including in 2010, Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners, only the second woman in its 55-year history to hold this position.  She has led the way in reforming how drug users are managed in general practice and was awarded an MBE for his services to medicine and substance misuse in the 2000 Birthday honours. Since she has led the way in developing services for doctors and dentists with mental health problems, establishing and leading NHS Practitioner Health since 2008. This has been, not only a world first, but massively impactful, particularly on young doctors and consequently on the patients they look after and the teams in which they work.  The service was awarded Outstanding by CQC rating in March 2019.  Currently Clare not only still leads NHS Practitioner Health but has, in 2020, established a service for problem gamblers; Chairs the newly formed registered charity, Doctors in Distress, is now co-chair of the NHS Assembly. In 2020 she was made a Dame in the Queen’s birthday honours, making her the first Maltese person to be knighted.  In October 2021 she will become the President Elect at the RCGP.  She is a highly respected NHS professional, whose views are listened to by NHS professionals and patients alike. 

Fintan O'Toole

Fintan O'Toole is a columnist with The Irish Times and Leonard L. Milberg visiting Professor of Irish Letters at Princeton University. He is the winner of both the Orwell Prize and the European Press Prize for his work on Brexit. He is currently working on the official biography of Seamus Heaney.

Born in Dublin in 1958, he has been drama critic of In Dublin magazine, The Sunday Tribune, the New York Daily News, and The Irish Times and Literary Adviser to the Abbey Theatre. He edited Magill magazine and since 1988, has been a columnist with the Irish Times. He contributes regularly to the New York Review of Books and The Guardian.

His most recent book, We Don’t Know Ourselves: A Personal History of Ireland Since 1958 was named Book of the Year in the recent An Post Irish Book Awards.

In 2018, he published the bestselling Heroic Failure: Brexit and The Politics of Pain (published in the US as The Politics of Pain).

Among his many other books are Judging Shaw (2017), A History of Ireland in 100 Objects (2013), Ship of Fools (2009), White Savage: William Johnson and the Invention of America (2005), After the Ball (2003), Shakespeare is Hard but so is Life (2002); A Traitor’s Kiss: The Life of Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1997) and The Politics of Magic: The Work and Times of Tom Murphy (1987).

Professor Agnes Binagwaho

​MD, M(Ped), PHD is the Vice Chancellor and co-founder of the University of Global Health Equity (in 2015), a Rwandan initiative of Partners in Health. She is a Rwandan pediatrician, who returned to Rwanda in the late 1990s and worked for 20 years in the public health sector, first as a clinician in public hospitals. Afterwards, she worked in various high-level government positions between 2002 and 2016. She served first as the Executive Secretary of Rwanda's National AIDS Control Commission, then as the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, and lastly as the Minister of Health for five years. Professor Binagwaho also serves as Professor of Pediatrics at UGHE, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School and as an Adjunct Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine. She is a member of multiple editorial, advisory and directors’ boards, including the Rockefeller Foundation Board of Trustees and the African Union Commission on African COVID-19 Response. She is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Medicine and the World Academy of Sciences, and a fellow of the African Academy of Sciences. She has published over 220 peer-reviewed articles and was named among the 100 Most Influential African Women for 2020 and 2021.

Dr Anna Stavdal

WONCA World President 

Anna is a family medicine specialist, working for the past 30 years in Oslo’s inner city. Since 1996, she has been an Associate Professor at Oslo University, teaching undergraduate students and training family medicine residents. Dr Stavdal has been active in public debate for many years as: a columnist, a speaker and a passionate advocate for primary care and family medicine. She has held leading positions in family medicine organisations for 25 years - at the Norwegian level, Nordic, European the global level.

In WONCA Europe, Anna served as vice president 2010 -2016, and then president 2016-2018. During the last decade, she built a strong relationship between WONCA Europe and WHO Europe, and is still tasked with consultative work with WHO Europe. She was elected WONCA president elect in 2018, - and was elected WONCA President in November 2021.

Dr Mike Ryan

Executive Director of WHO Health Emergencies Programme

Dr Mike Ryan has been at the forefront of managing acute risks to global health for nearly 25 years. He served as Assistant Director-General for Emergency Preparedness and Response in WHO's Health Emergencies Programme from 2017 to 2019.

Dr Ryan first joined WHO in 1996, with the newly established unit to respond to emerging and epidemic disease threats. He has worked in conflict affected countries and led many responses to high impact epidemics. He is a founding member of the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN), which has aided the response to hundreds of disease outbreaks around the world. He served as Coordinator of Epidemic Response (2000-2003), Operational Coordinator of WHO’s response to the SARS outbreak (2003), and as WHO’s Director of Global Alert and Response (2005-2011).

He was a Senior Advisor on Polio Eradication for the Global Polio Eradication Initiative from 2013 to 2017, deploying to countries in the Middle East.

He completed medical training at the National University of Ireland, Galway, a Master’s in Public Health at University College Dublin, and specialist training in communicable disease control at the Health Protection Agency in London and the European Programme for Intervention Epidemiology Training.

Professor Jennifer Adams

Jennifer Adams is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.  Dr. Adams graduated from the University of Colorado School of Medicine and completed her residency in Internal Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. Jennifer then returned to Denver and joined the Division of General Internal Medicine at the University of Colorado and practices primary care and HIV medicine in a federally qualified health center at Denver Health.  She has served as the Director and founder of the Denver Health Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship since 2014. Dr. Adams also serves as the Assistant Dean of Medical Education and Clinical Curriculum in the CU School of Medicine. In this role she is leading a large scale clerkship reform as the CU School of Medicine moves to an all-LIC curriculum. 

Professor John Gillies

Honorary Professor of General Practice, University of Edinburgh

Co-director, University of Edinburgh Global Compassion Initiative, Global Health Academy


John worked in Malawi and then as a general practitioner in rural Scotland for many years.  He has been involved with medical education all his professional life.

He was Chair of the Royal College of GPs in Scotland from 2010 to 2014. He has published on rural healthcare, medical ethics, medical humanities, heart disease and primary healthcare policy.


He is an Honorary Professor of General Practice at the University of Edinburgh and until 2019, was Deputy Director of Scottish School of Primary Care, with Professor Stewart Mercer.  In 2019, he chaired a group for the Scottish Board for Academic Medicine which produced recommendations on increasing undergraduate education of medical students in Scotland to general practice.  He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2018. He is an editor of a book of poetry for new doctors, Tools of the Trade, gifted to all new doctors in Scotland, published jointly by Scottish Poetry Library and Polygon Press in June 2019.  He speaks Scottish Gàidhlig and hopes to do some cycling round Limerick next year!


Twitter:  @JohnGillies6



Professor Roger Strasser AM

Professor of Rural Health, University of Waikato, New Zealand Professor of Rural Health and Founding Dean Emeritus Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM), Canada 

Between 2002 and 2019, Professor Roger Strasser was NOSM Founding Dean and CEO. He is a leader in the global reform of rural health professional education and research. Recognizing the importance of context and community in medical education and research, Professor Strasser has become one of the world’s foremost authorities on rural, socially accountable medical education, and a sought-after speaker and advisor. 

Prior to 2002, Roger Strasser was Professor of Rural Health and Head of the Monash University School of Rural Health in Australia and had an international role with the World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA) as inaugural Chair of the Working Party on Rural Practice from 1992-2004. 

Professor Sir Andy Haines

Professor of Environmental Change and Public Health, Centre on Climate Change and Planetary Health, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.


Andy was formerly a primary care physician and Professor of Primary Health Care at UCL. He developed an interest in climate change and health in the 1990’s and was a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for the 2 nd and 3 rd assessment exercises and review editor for the health chapter in the 5 th assessment. He was Director (formerly Dean) of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine from 2001- October 2010.   He chaired the Scientific Advisory Panel for the 2013 WHO World Health Report, the Rockefeller /Lancet Commission on Planetary Health (2014-15) and the European Academies Science Advisory Council working group on climate change and health (2018-19). He currently co-chairs the InterAcademy Partnership (140 science academies worldwide) working group on climate change and health and is also co-chairing the Lancet Pathfinder Commission on health in the zero-carbon economy.  He has published many papers on topics such as the effects of environmental change on health and the health co-benefits of low carbon policies. His current research focuses on climate change mitigation, sustainable healthy food systems and complex urban systems for sustainability.

Professor Shelley Nowlan


Acting Deputy Director-General, Clinical Excellence Queensland

Deputy National Rural Health Commissioner, Australian Government

Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, Queensland Health

Shelley is a people-orientated executive leader with experience in contemporary healthcare systems including clinical innovation, leadership development, strategic planning, change management, policy development at State, National and International platforms.


As Clinical Excellence Queensland Acting Deputy Director-General Shelley’s leadership guides and drives the patient safety, quality improvement and clinical improvement agendas for the Queensland health system.  Shelley provides overall professional, operational and industry advice for government by identifying, monitoring and promoting improvements in the quality of health services delivered by service providers.


Shelley’s leadership has helped achieve practical outcomes within the health workforce and consumer through clinical care re-design and has led to success in developing and leading statewide Reform agendas, Covid response and clinical leadership programs.


You may also know Shelley in her role as Australian Government Deputy National Rural Health Commissioner and her role as Queensland Health’s Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer.  Her experience within the nursing profession extends nationally and internationally.

Theona Morrison

Founder Director of CoDeL


Theona lives in Grimsay, Outer Hebrides, Founder Director of CoDeL which first evidenced a younger demographic making islands their home, contrasting national projections.

She co-wrote the Vocational Educational Strategy linking education to economic opportunity designed to stem population decline. Theona sits on the University of the Highlands and Islands Post-Graduate Committee, (Department of Nursing and Midwifery) and Community Land Scotland education group, chairs the Locality Planning Group, Health and Social Care and sits on the Outer Hebrides Integrated Joint Board. She has served on many boards including: Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum and Arts Centre and island community groups as well as Acting Chair of Scottish Rural Action which delivered the Virtual Scottish Rural Parliament.

Starting in public health, then global company senior management,Theona subsequently was the Director of a Radio Station, managed a contemporary traditional Scottish music group, co-founder of Scottish Women’s Enterprise Group, former advisory group member for Westminster Government, one of two women from Scotland. She started her own island produce business. She is an Aurora co-coordinator, a pan-European project including Sweden, Scotland and Ireland to increase women’s entrepreneurship in rural areas.

Thomas Fisher

Founding Director of CoDeL.  


CoDeL led both the international partnership (including rural health researchers) for the NPA Covid Response Call research on economic impacts of Covid and the Smart Islands project linking Scottish and Irish islands.

Thomas has lived in Uist in the Scottish Outer Hebrides for 19 years, engaging in community development and campaigning on island/rural issues.  He delivered keynote talks on redefining peripherality at Nordic Talks and at the NPA’s annual event 2021.

Thomas facilitates learning programmes for the Social Enterprise Academy, and in response to Covid-19, designed visioning programmes for communities and young people to create positive futures beyond the pandemic, now used across Scotland and internationally, including for the health sector and young people and the climate crisis.

Formerly Director for Enterprising Communities at the new economics foundation, London, Thomas worked for many years in rural development in India and published three books on rural non-farm employment and micro-finance.

Dr Stephanie Dowling and Dr Pat Harrold  


Dr Stephanie Dowling is a GP based in rural practice in South Tipperary, Ireland. Early in her career, while working as a GP in Dundee, Scotland, she obtained a Diploma in Medical Education. Following her return to Ireland, she was appointed as Irish College of General Practice (ICGP) Continuing Medical Education (CME) tutor for Waterford city and county, and as Assistant Programme Director in the South East General Practice Training Scheme. She also continued working as a GP, and concurrently obtained a Master of Science (MSc) degree from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), based on original research on palliative care education for Irish GPs. She recently completed a doctorate (MD) in University College Dublin (UCD). Her doctoral research, supported by an ICGP grant, examined the effectiveness of small group CME for rurally-based Irish GPs. From 2019 to 2021 she was Assistant National Academic Director of ICGP CME.


Dr Pat Harrold is a Family Doctor who works in Tipperary, Ireland and an Adjunct Senior Clinical Lecturer in University of Limerick Medical School. He has been an Irish College of General Practitioners Continuing Medical Education (CME) tutor for 16 years. CME small group learning is the most popular form of Post Graduate  Medical Education in Ireland. The CME network, which was set up by the late Dr Michael Boland three decades ago delivers evidence-based peer centred learning in every part of the country.

Pat is a committee Member of the Rural, Island and Dispensing Doctors association, an organisation which has supported country-based doctors since 1984. He is delighted that Wonca 2022 will show the unique and welcoming spirit of this organisation on a larger scale than ever before.

Pat is a columnist with the Medical Independent and Irish Times. He is also a radio broadcaster, an award-winning fiction writer and was a founder member of Irish Doctors Environmental Association in 1997.

Dr. Severoni is Director of the Global Health and Migration Programme, Office of the Deputy Director-General, at the WHO Headquarters in Geneva. He is a medical doctor, health economist, epidemiologist, and experienced systems management.

He has over 24 years of experience as an international senior technical advisor and executive, worked for WHO, governments, NGOs, and foundations in Eastern Africa, the Balkans, Central Asia, and Europe. He has dedicated his work to global health, focusing on health sector reforms, health systems strengthening, health diplomacy, aid coordination/effectiveness, management of complex emergencies, and a WHO Representative in Albania and Tajikistan. Since 2011 have been leading the WHO EURO work on health and migration. In 2019 he was appointed EURO Special Representative on health & migration and Director a.i. on health systems and public health. In June 2020, he was appointed Director of the Global Health and Migration Programme at the WHO Headquarters in Geneva to lead the WHO global work on health and migration.

Professor Anne MacFarlane PhD is Professor of Primary Healthcare Research in the School of Medicine, University of Limerick. She is the first woman and first social scientist to hold a Chair in academic primary care in Ireland.  Anne is founder and overall academic lead for the Public and Patient Involvement Research Unit, which was designated a WHO Collaborating Centre for Migrant’s Involvement in Health Research in 2019.

Anne’s core, inter-related research interests are refugee and migrant health, public and patient involvement, participatory health research and implementation science. She has a longstanding passion for communication in primary care consultations and has focused on cross-cultural communication between refugees and migrants and their primary care providers for over 20 years. Her pioneering inter-disciplinary research has involved migrants and other stakeholders in participatory dialogues to support the implementation of trained interpreters in primary care settings.

Anne has led/collaborated on numerous competitive grant applications for national and international research, including the 2.9 million euro EU RESTORE project (2011-2015). She has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals and was academic lead for two WHO Health Evidence Network Synthesis relating to migrant health (2018; 2016). She is currently active in projects with WHO (Director, WHO Collaboration Centre, UL; academic lead for WHO European Region Research Framework for Refugee and Migrant Health), the International Collaboration for Participatory Health Research (Co-Founder and Co-Lead for the PHR with migrants’ group) and the North American Primary Care Research Group (Co-Chair of the PHR Committee for Advancing the Science of Family Medicine; Member, Refugee and Immigrant Health Special Interest Group).

Mayara Floss

Brazilian Family Doctor, writer, poet, filmmaker and activist. She is currently a PhD student at the University of São Paulo (USP). She is one of the creators of the Rural Seeds network and co-created and coordinated the Rural Seeds Cafe, Mentor Mentee, Rural Health Success Stories and Rural Videos.  She is an executive member of the WONCA Working Party on Rural Practice and member of the WONCA Working Party on the Environment. She was part of the Steering and Review Group of WHO Guideline on Rural Health Workforce: Attraction, Recruitment and Retention. Between 2014 and 2015 she was a Science Without Borders Fellow at the National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG), a period in which she discovered rural health as a student in the Connemara fields under the supervision of Dr Edward Harty.  She is the junior author of the policy brief recommendations for Brazil of Lancet Countdown 2018 and 2019, being also member of the Planetary Health Group and the Advanced Studies Institute at the same university, being also the creator and coordinator of the Planetary Health and Planetary Health for Primary Care MOOC. She has spoken on women’s health at the United Nations in 2018.

bottom of page