The Mérieux Foundation USA Executive Board members are influential figures in public health, health research, philanthropy and business. The staff includes experts with extensive experience in government, international policy and disease surveillance.
Board of Directors
Chair David Heymann, M.D., London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
David Heymann is currently Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Head of the Centre on Global Health Security at Chatham House, London. Up to March 2017, Dr Heymann was Chairman of the Board, Public Health England, UK. Previously to this he was the World Health Organization’s Assistant Director-General for Health Security and Environment and the representative of the Director-General for polio eradication. From 1998-2003 he was Executive Director of the WHO Communicable Diseases Cluster during which time he headed the global response to SARS, and from October 1995 to July 1998 he was Director of the WHO Programme on Emerging and other Communicable Diseases. Prior to that Dr Heymann was the Chief of research activities in the WHO Global Programme on AIDS.
Before joining WHO, Dr Heymann worked for 13 years as a medical epidemiologist in sub-Saharan Africa on assignment from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In this capacity he was part of the team that responded to the first and second outbreaks of Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever and supported ministries of health in designing and implementing programmes in infectious disease prevention and control, with emphasis on field research on childhood diseases, malaria and the African haemorrhagic fevers.
He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies (United States) and Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (UK); he has been awarded the 2004 Award for Excellence of American Public Health Association; the 2005 Donald Mackay Award from the American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, and the 2007 Heinz Award on the Human Condition. In 2009 he was appointed an honorary Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) for service to global public health.
Jon Kim Andrus, M.D., University of Colorado’s Center for Global Health
Dr. Andrus is Adjoint Professor and Director of the Division of Vaccines and Immunization of the University of Colorado’s Center for Global Health. Dr. Andrus leads efforts to advocate for the evidence-based use of vaccines in developing countries. Over his 30-year global health career Dr. Andrus has served as Deputy Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO); Lead Senior Technical Advisor for PAHO’s immunization program providing oversight for PAHO’s measles-rubella elimination and other immunization initiatives; and the Regional Advisor for polio eradication in WHO’s Southeast Asia Region from 1993-2000. He has also held positions as Head of the Vaccinology and Immunization Program at the Institute for Global Health at the Universities of California at San Francisco and Berkeley; and Professor and Director of the Global Health MPH Program at George Washington University.
Dr. Andrus holds faculty appointments at the University of California, San Francisco, and the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. He began his global health career as a Peace Corps volunteer, serving as the District Medical Officer in Mchinji, Malawi. Currently, Dr. Andrus serves on several global health advisory groups, including: co-Chair of the Global Polio Partners Group, member of the International Monitoring Board for the Polio Transition, member of PAHO’s Technical Advisory Group for Vaccine Preventable Diseases, member of WHO’s South East Asia’s Regional Verification Commission for Measles and Rubella Elimination, and member of the WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts Working Group on the Decade of Vaccines. Dr. Andrus has published more than 120 scientific peer-reviewed papers. He has received numerous awards for his leadership in the eradication of polio, measles, rubella and congenital rubella syndrome, as well as for the introduction of new vaccines in developing countries.
Stéphane Bancel, M. Eng., M.S., M.B.A., Moderna
Mr. Bancel is President and Founding CEO of Moderna. He joined Moderna in summer 2011 when it was a one employee and one patent company, after Dr. Afeyan and the board described to him Moderna technology. He has assembled a world-class team and raised the company’s Series B and C financing. He and his team executed the Astra-Zeneca partnership, which is the largest pre-clinical deal ever in the biotech industry.
He was previously CEO of bioMérieux, a world leader in the diagnostics industry. bioMerieux has more than 6,000 employees, a market capitalization of 2.5 Billion Euros, and Sales of more than 1.3 Billion Euros. He led the company through 10 successful acquisitions in the US, Europe and Asia/Pacific without needing new capital from shareholders. During that time, the company’s market capitalization nearly doubled despite the 2008 financial crisis. Prior to his time at bioMérieux, Mr. Bancel was Managing Director of Eli Lilly in Belgium and Executive Director of Global Manufacturing Strategy and Supply Chain at Eli Lilly in Indianapolis, Indiana. He started at Lilly in their UK manufacturing plant outside London.
Mr. Bancel is Executive Chairman of the board of BG medicine and a director of Qiagen. He is also a Senior Partner at Flagship Ventures in Boston. He was elected a 2009 Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. He was also elected best CEO for investor relations in France in 2009 and was ranked #1 CEO in the Biotech sector according to the 2011 Thomson Reuters EXTEL Study. He holds a Master of Engineering from École Central Paris, a Master of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Didier Cherpitel, Mérieux Foundation Board member
Mr. Cherpitel has an extensive background in banking, humanitarian organisations and corporate business. A graduate of the Institut des sciences politiques in Paris, Mr. Cherpitel did his national service in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, where he did voluntary work in 1969 and 1970. From 1970 to 1998, he worked as a commercial, private and merchant banker for JP Morgan in New York, Singapore, Brussels, Paris and London. He oversaw JP Morgan in France from 1988 to 1996. Mr. Cherpitel was elected Secretary General of the Federation of National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Geneva, a post he held from 1999 to 2003. From 2004 to 2008, Mr. Cherpitel was the Chairman of ATOS ORIGIN, the second largest European IT company, listed in Paris. He is the director of several listed companies and serves on the Boards of numerous foundations and NGOs in Switzerland, France, Great Britain and the Benelux countries. Mr. Cherpitel serves on the Board of directors of the Mérieux Foundation as Treasurer since 2005 and founded Managers Without Borders in partnership with Université Laval in Quebec in 2005.
Kevin De Cock, M.D., F.R.C.P., Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Dr. De Cock is currently the Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Kenya office and the Director of the CDC’s Division of Global HIV/AIDS Kenya program supporting the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. Dr. De Cock previously served as the Director of the CDC Center for Global Health. Throughout his career he has served in a variety of positions and medical schools in the United Kingdom, the United States, and sub-Saharan Africa. From 2006–2009 he served as Director of the World Health Organization Department of HIV/AIDS. He also previously served as Director of the CDC Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, Surveillance, and Epidemiology.
Dr. De Cock received his medical degree in 1974 from the University of Bristol, United Kingdom. He specialized in internal medicine and obtained extensive experience in infectious diseases, tropical medicine, and liver disease. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (United Kingdom) and Visiting Professor of Medicine and International Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Dr. De Cock has received a number of awards including the Chalmers Medal, Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene; Commandeur de l’Ordre de la Santé Publique (Commander of the Order of Public Health), Côte d’Ivoire; the CDC and ATSDR honor Award for International Health; the CDC Mackel Award; and the CDC William C. Watson Jr. Medal of Excellence. He has published over 300 articles and book chapters and has served as a referee for numerous scientific journals and organizations.
Warren Johnson, M.D., Weill Cornell Medical College
Dr. Johnson is the B.H. Kean Professor of Tropical Medicine and the Director of the Center for Global Health at the Weill Cornell Medical College. He has devoted his career to research and training in resource-poor countries, with a focus on tropical diseases, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS. His research has served as a vehicle for the training of several generations of outstanding investigators, and the development of long-term research and training programs in Brazil (1969), Haiti (1979) and Tanzania (2006). He has received over 4 decades of uninterrupted research and training support from the National Institutes of Health, including an NIH Merit Award. He has served as a mentor for over 60 postdoctoral trainees, including 18 NIH K-award recipients. Dr. Johnson has also served as a Director of the American Board of Internal Medicine, the IDSA Council, and on the Advisory Councils of the NIH and the NIAID.
In Tanzania, Dr. Johnson directs a multidisciplinary collaboration between Weill Cornell Medical College and the Weill Bugando University College of Health Sciences in Mwanza, Tanzania. This is a bidirectional exchange of over 50 US and Tanzanian faculty and residents between Cornell in New York and Tanzania, in both the basic sciences and clinical departments. In Brazil, he has performed clinical and laboratory studies on leishmaniasis, leptospirosis, schistosomiasis, leprosy, and HIV/AIDS. In addition, over 300 Brazilian investigators and clinicians have received training in Brazil or in the US through this program. He was elected to the Brazilian National Academy of Sciences in 2006. In Haiti, he was a co-founder of the Cornell-GHESKIO Program in 1983. In 2010, GHESKIO received the Gates Foundation Award for Global Health, which carries a $1 million honorarium in recognition of its “major and lasting contributions to the field.”
Karine Mehler, Mérieux Foundation Board member and granddaughter of Charles Mérieux
Ms. Mehler holds a post-graduate degree in business law and economics from the University of Panthéon-Assas (Paris II) and a qualifying certification for the practice of law. She began her career as a lawyer in Paris, and in 1999, she created an editorial site dedicated to culture and youth. Today she leads a company specialized in personalized accessories.
Ms. Mehler is the granddaughter of Dr. Charles Mérieux, founder of the Mérieux Foundation. She has sat on the board of directors of the Foundation since 2007 as one of the founders’ representatives, and has been a member of the board of directors of the Mérieux Foundation USA since its creation. At the same time, she is involved in the world of foundations as a member of various associations representing family foundations.
Clare O’Brien, Partner, Shearman & Sterling
Clare O’Brien regularly advises major U.S. and international clients on their public and private mergers and acquisition transactions, including public company restructurings, joint ventures and large public transactions. She also provides counsel on corporate law questions, including corporate governance matters.
Ms. O’Brien has been consistently acknowledged as a leading M&A lawyer and has received a “Dealmaker of the Year” award by The American Lawyer.
Prior to joining Shearman & Sterling, Ms. O’Brien worked with the law firm of Brady & Tarpey, P.C., where her practice included cross-border corporate transactions, litigation and domestic relations. She began her legal career at the Irish law firm of Eugene F. Collins & Son.
Leadership in Washington, D.C.
Guy Vernet, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Vernet comes to the Mérieux Foundation USA with expertise in strengthening laboratory capacity for infectious disease diagnostics, research, and surveillance in low-income countries. With extensive experience in West Africa, Dr. Vernet previously served as the General Director of the Centre Pasteur in Yaoundé, Cameroon, providing training and conducting public health and research activities. Formerly, as the Scientific Director of Fondation Mérieux in Lyon, he developed GABRIEL, an international research network with members in 17 countries, which strengthens capacities for research on infectious diseases in low-income countries. Prior to that, he served in several senior research and development positions at bioMérieux, with a focus on technologies for clinical diagnosis and treatment management of infectious diseases.
Dr. Vernet received a Ph.D. in biochemistry and virology from the Université Claude Bernard in Lyon, France, and held postdoctoral positions at Institut d’Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire MVT in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso and at the University of Basel, Switzerland.
Emily Penrose, M.S., Program and Operations Director
As the Program and Operations Director for the Mérieux Foundation USA, Ms. Penrose is responsible for managing the organization’s projects and operations at our Washington, D.C. office, and participating in collaborative efforts involving a wide range of domestic and international partners. Prior to this role, Ms. Penrose served for several years as the organization’s Program Manager. Ms. Penrose comes to the Mérieux Foundation USA with previous experience working on global health and security issues at nonprofit organizations in the Washington, D.C. area.
Ms. Penrose earned her M.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University where she specialized in international relations and security. She also studied at l’Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris, and is a graduate of Middlebury College with a B.A. in international studies.