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WGHA’s new direction in 2017—A note from WGHA’s board chair

The Georgia Global Health Alliance wishes Lisa Cohen and WGHA, a GGHA partner, all the best during this transition.


Dear WGHA Community,

In 2017, WGHA celebrates its tenth anniversary and as board chair, I can say that WGHA is stronger than ever. Our membership has grown significantly and just last week we launched a new website that better meets the needs of our growing global health community.

As WGHA grows and digs deeper into building strong global health partnerships, I wanted you to be among the first to know about an important leadership transition ahead of us. After serving for ten years as the founding executive director of the Washington Global Health Alliance, Lisa Cohen is stepping down on March 31, 2017. Lisa has put much thought into this and it’s her belief that now is an ideal time to bring in new leadership and a fresh perspective at this pivotal moment in WGHA’s story.

Lisa Cohen’s legacy

Under Lisa’s leadership, WGHA has developed thousands of partnerships benefiting the world’s most vulnerable populations. Her banner accomplishments include mapping the state’s global health community; raising the profile of global health organizations on the local, state, and national stage; leading the Washington Global Health Fund and Global Health Nexus; and co-founding Global to Local. Collaborative by nature, Lisa worked to build connections among WGHA’s 70-plus member organizations and numerous community stakeholders, convening working groups and coalitions to increase WGHA members’ impact, moderating more than 100 panels, and presenting about Washington’s global health community to more than 50,000 people.

Perhaps Lisa’s most important legacy is not the number of people she presented to, but her ability to make you feel like you’re the only one in the room. Lisa is a dear friend to many and a respected partner to all.

WGHA’s future and value

As global health challenges become more complex, WGHA’s value has never been more apparent. In 2016, WGHA made 600-plus connections that limited redundancy among organizations, connected the best and the brightest to the workforce, and maximized the impact of our state’s network. Hundreds of global health practitioners participated in WGHA’s thematic roundtables and forums—some of which led to significant partnerships like the Pacific Northwest Antimicrobial Resistance Coalition. WGHA also authored The Blueprint: Building a Regional Global Health Alliance, which is guiding the establishment of strategic global health hubs across the country and around the world.

Identifying WGHA’s new leader

WGHA’s board will lead the selection process for WGHA’s next president and chief executive officer. In addition to the selection committee, the board has also appointed a transition committee to lead the organization through Lisa’s term and the arrival of WGHA’s next leader. The entire board is engaged and serving on one of the two committees. Our goal is to identify WGHA’s leader by the end of March.

The job description will be posted on Friday, January 20, on the WGHA careers page at 12:00 p.m. PST. Please spread the word through your networks. Please direct questions to

Best wishes, Curt Malloy, JD, MPH WGHA Board Chair Administrator, Fred Hutch Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division

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