Maria Neira Director, Department of Public Health and Environment, World Health Organization (WHO)

Dr. Maria P. Neira was appointed Director of ECH at the World Health Organization in September 2005. Prior to that, she was the Vice-Minister of Health and President of the Spanish Food Safety Agency. She had also previously held several senior positions in WHO. Dr. Neira began her career as a medical coordinator working with refugees in Salvador and Honduras for Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders).

Dr Neira is a medical doctor by training. She specialised in Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases; and Public Health. Dr. Neira has been awarded the Médaille de l’Ordre national du Mérite by the Government of France and is a member of the Academy of Medicine, Asturias, Spain.  In 2019, Dr. Neira was nominated as one of the world’s most influential people in climate policy; her work has been recognised in raising awareness on health, climate and air pollution.