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Our Humanity in the Balance

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OHIB Featured Member

Dr. Mukesh Kapila (UK)
Humanitarian, Health and Development Expert, Human Rights Advocate

Dr. Mukesh Kapila is Professor of Global Health and Humanitarian Affairs at the University of Manchester. He has extensive experience in the policy and practice of international development, humanitarian affairs, and diplomacy, including human rights, disaster and conflict management, and in global public health.

He is also Special Representative of the Aegis Trust for the prevention of crimes against humanity. Previously he was Under Secretary General at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the world’s largest humanitarian and development network. His early career was in clinical medicine, primary health care, and public health in the British National Health Service in Oxfordshire, Cambridge, and London, where he helped set up the UK’s first national HIV and AIDS programme at the Health Education Authority, becoming its deputy director. He then joined the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Overseas Development Administration (subsequently Department for International Development), initially as senior health and population adviser and latterly as the first head of a new Conflict and Humanitarian Affairs Department.

Dr. Kapila went on to become the Special Adviser to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva and then Special Adviser at the UN Mission in Afghanistan. Subsequently, he led the UN's largest country mission at the time as the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sudan, and then became a Director at the World Health Organization. He has also been Chief Executive of the PHG Foundation, a senior policy adviser to the World Bank, worked as part of the UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination system, and advised the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, International Labour Organization, UNAIDS, and many other agencies.

He has initiated several NGOs, and is currently Chair of the Council of Minority Rights Group International. He has served on the Boards of the UN Institute for Training and Research, the International Peace Academy in New York, and many other bodies. Dr. Kapila is a Senior Member of Hughes Hall College at Cambridge University and an associate at the Centre for Global Studies, University of Victoria, Canada. Dr. Kapila was born in India and is a citizen of the United Kingdom. He has qualifications in medicine, public health, and development from the Universities of Oxford and London. In 2003, he was honored by Queen Elizabeth II and named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his international service. In 2007, he received the Global Citizenship Award of the Institute for Global Leadership.

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