Feachem Receives Prestigious Sir Frank Whittle Medal

Sir Richard FeachemUCSF Professor Richard Feachem has been recognized for global health leadership.

UCSF Professor Sir Richard Feachem, executive director of UCSF Global Health Sciences and director of the Global Health Group, recently received the prestigious Sir Frank Whittle Medal from the United Kingdom’s Royal Academy of Engineering in London.

Lord Browne of Madingley, president of the Academy, awarded the 2010 Whittle Medal to Feachem for his outstanding achievements in international development on Jan. 17.

One of the most distinguished leaders working in the field of global health, Feachem received the award for his engineering-based approach to managing aid and controlling some of the most virulent diseases, including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

"Sir Richard's contribution to improving global health, while based on his engineering skills, has expanded to cover the whole endeavour of international development,” said Academy President Lord Browne of Madingley. “He has completely changed the philosophy of large international organizations and NGOs in their attitude to funding, the types of projects to be funded and the interdisciplinary effort needed to achieve positive outcomes for some of the world's poorest people."

After receiving the award, Feachem delivered a keynote address, titled “Reengineering Aid: A Bold Agenda for the 21st Century.” In the address, he reviewed the history of aid over the past 60 years, summarized current controversies, and proposed a bold agenda of reform to increase returns on investment from aid.

This presentation drew on Feachem’s lifetime of work in global health, development, and development finance, particularly focusing on his experience as the founding executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. The Global Fund was established from scratch in 2002 and has been a major innovator in the business of aid. The experience of building and leading the Global Fund has greatly influenced Feachem’s views on appropriate models for aid in the 21st century.

Named after the inventor of the jet engine, the Sir Frank Whittle Medal was first awarded in 2001 to the creator of the worldwide web, Professor Tim Berners-Lee for his achievements in communication.

Read the release on the Royal Academy of Engineering website.  

Photo by Alain McLaughlin