Skip to Main Content

Rhodes Policy Summit: Creating a Positive Legacy from the Pandemic



You are invited to join us for the inaugural hybrid Rhodes Policy Summit either online or in Covent Garden, Central London

Rhodes Policy Summit: Creating a Positive Legacy from the Pandemic

Breaking the cycle of panic to neglect with an Always On approach.

Friday 14 April 2023

Central London location in Covent Garden. Exact venue to be announced 48 hours before the event for security reasons.


Join some of the most influential voices in global health to debate how we use the lessons of COVID-19 to bolster our defences against future pandemic threats. With public and political interest in preparedness at risk, the inaugural Rhodes Policy Summit will ask how can we ensure we have equitable and practical measures in place to prepare us for the next global health crisis.

The summit will bring together some of the world’s leading scientists, internationally influential political figures, business innovators, civil society representatives and thought leaders in global health.

The aim of the Summit is to set out an ‘Always On’ approach to pandemic preparedness: where global health architecture is developed that can be used for routine healthcare delivery and when responding to the next pandemic. This includes developing capacities for digital infrastructure, vaccination, surveillance and manufacturing that could pivot between use for pandemics and during peacetime.


  • Tony Blair, Executive Chairman, the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change, and Former Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • Dr David Agus, Founding Director and CEO of The Lawrence J. Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine
  • Hala Audi, CEO, UniZIMA
  • Professor Sir John Bell, Immunologist and Regius Professor of Medicine, University of Oxford
  • Professor George Fu Gao, Former Director, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Hannah Kettler, Director of Design and Operationalisation of COVAX, Gavi
  • Dr Amadou Sall, CEO of Institut Pasteur, Senegal
  • Professor Ngaire Woods, Dean of the Blavatnik School for Government, University of Oxford



Please note that this event is invitation only. If you have any questions please contact

• All invitations are non-transferable, and you must RSVP to gain admittance

• Government issued photographic ID must be brought with the invitation

• Entry is conditional on being prepared to be searched. Bringing of large bags, etc. is discouraged

After purchasing your ticket, you will be invited to register on our Forum event platform and app closer to the conference date.


Please contact if you have any questions or have any difficulties booking.

Delegates are responsible for organising their own accommodation, but below are some suggestions close by to the venue. Book early to avoid disappointment!

High End: The Savoy, One Aldwych, ME London

Mid Range: Hilton London Waldorf, Strand Palace, Clermont Hotel Charing Cross

Budget: Travelodge Covent Garden, Hub by Premier Inn - Covent Garden

Dress Code: Business Casual - No Ties

We rely on the generosity of individual donors and other sponsors to cover the costs of this Forum. This particular event was made possible through the generous support of one of our donors. Your ticket includes lunch, refreshments and snacks throughout the day, plus a full day of conferencing.

ALT TEXT: Large 'R' on the left with an image of a hand with a globe on the finger with orange dots on it. In pink writing it says 'Rhodes Policy Summit 14 April 2023' and in blue writing it says 'Pandemic Preparedness'. The blue Rhodes Trust logo is situated at the bottom in the middle of the image


Download full programme


Forum Speaker

  • Dr. David B. Agus is one of the world's leading doctors and pioneering biomedical researchers. He is the founding director and CEO of the Lawrence J. Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine and a professor of medicine and engineering at the University of Southern California. A medical oncologist, Agus leads a multidisciplinary team of researchers dedicated to the development and use of technologies to guide doctors in making health care decisions tailored to individual needs. An international leader in global health and approaches for personalized health care, Agus serves in leadership roles at the World Economic Forum and is co-chair of the Global Health Security Consortium.
  • Hala is the CEO of Unizima, part of Belgian life sciences group Univercells. Unizima is a biomanufacturing services and technology provider, providing the expertise and cutting-edge technology needed to enable sustainable production of biologics such as vaccines, monoclonal antibodies and insulin in emerging markets. Hala joined Unizima from a career in government and global public health, including heading the pioneering UK review on antimicrobial resistance, chaired by Jim O’Neill. She has also been a senior leader in the UK Treasury Department and the Infrastructure and Projects Authority where her role focused on modernizing delivery of the government’s major projects and portfolio including through modularised construction. Earlier in her career she was an international arbitration lawyer with US law firm Skadden, Arps in New York and London.
  • Sir John Bell GBE, FRS is Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford University. President of the Academy of Medical Sciences (2006 to 2011); Chair, Office for the Strategic Coordination of Health Research until 2017; Chair, Rhodes Trust; UK Life Sciences Champion since 2011. Appointed Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire (GBE) in 2015 for services to medicine, medical research and the life science industry. Co-developed and wrote both 2017 UK Life Sciences Industrial Strategy and 2021 Life Sciences Vision providing recommendations to HM Government on ensuring the long-term success of the life sciences sector.
  • The Rt Hon Tony Blair, former Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Executive Chairman of the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change Tony Blair served as Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from 1997 to 2007 - the only Labour leader in the party’s 100-year history to win three consecutive elections. During his time in Downing Street Tony Blair implemented a major domestic reform agenda. Through record investment and reform, the UK’s education and healthcare sectors were transformed. The New Labour Government led by Tony implemented the largest hospital and school building programme since the creation of the UK’s welfare state. Overall crime was reduced by a third, and the first ever national minimum wage was introduced. There was also transformational progress on human rights and equality and all of this took place during a period of record economic growth and levels of employment. As Prime Minister, Tony Blair was also a central figure on the global stage. He helped bring peace to Northern Ireland, securing the historic Good Friday Agreement in 1998. He was a passionate advocate of an interventionist foreign policy. Tony created the Department for International Development, tripled the UK’s foreign aid to Africa, and introduced landmark legislation to tackle climate change. Since leaving office Tony Blair has spent most of his time working on three areas: supporting governments to deliver effectively for their people, working for peace in the Middle East, and countering extremism. He established the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change to work on some of the most difficult challenges in the world today, believing that real leadership has never been more necessary or more difficult. Currently, teams from Mr. Blair’s Institute are directly supporting leaders across the globe, delivering analysis and advice to help countries harness the power of technology.
  • Sergio Carmona is a global health leader, an MD PhD specialized in pathology. Following a distinguished clinical and academic career at the University of Witwatersrand (Johannesburg), he joined FIND in 2019. In 2021, he became the Chief Medical Officer. At FIND he covers a wide R&D portfolio for priority diseases, including tuberculosis, malaria, hepatitis, NTDs, AMR, NCDs, including HPV testing for early screening of cervical cancer. He is motivated by improving access to affordable diagnostics in LMICs. On the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, FIND was named co-convener of the Diagnostics Pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, in which Dr Carmona has played an instrumental role. Prior to joining FIND, Dr Carmona spent over a decade at the National Health Laboratory Services in South Africa, where he focused on molecular diagnostics and treatment monitoring for HIV, EID, HIV drug resistance and associated co-infections. He retains an academic affiliation to his alma mater, the University of the Witwatersrand. His work has supported guidance in HIV diagnostics and management. He has regularly participated in technical committees and initiatives led by the WHO, the USCDC, the ASLM and the SA National Department of Health.
  • Jessica Davis is an Associate Research Scientist in the Laboratory for the Modeling of Biological and Socio-Technical Systems at Northeastern University. Her research combines network science methods with data-driven epidemic modeling to respond to emerging infectious disease outbreaks. Her work aims to inform public health policies and enhance preparedness for future outbreaks by bridging the gap between theory and practice. She received her PhD in Network Science from Northeastern University, where she investigated the impact of cryptic transmission and travel restrictions during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Gao is the former director-general of China CDC (2017-2022) and former vice-president of the National Natural Science Foundation of China. He is a member (academician) of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), an international member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS), a foreign member of the U.K. Royal Society (RS), a member of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. He is the director of WHO and a professor of Institute of Microbiology, CAS. Gao has pioneered and made numerous significant original breakthroughs on the pathogenesis mechanisms and pathogen-host interaction of emerging infectious pathogens. His interests also include global public health and health strategy, and is an advocate of international collaboration in global public health. Gao pioneers the COVID-19 research and control with virus discovery, vaccine and therapeutic monoclonal antibody development etc. Gao is a recipient of several international and national awards, including TWAS Medical Prize, Nikkei Asian Prize (Japan), Shulan Medical Sciences Award, the Gamaleya Medal (Russia), HKU Centennial Distinguished Chinese Scholar and the Qiu Shi Outstanding Scientist, Outstanding Scientific Research Team Awards and TWAS Medal Lectures.
  • An NRF A1 rated scientist, CEO and President of the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), Professor Glenda Gray is a qualified paediatrician and co-founder of the internationally recognised Perinatal HIV Research Unit in Soweto, South Africa. Prior to her appointment at the SAMRC, she was the Executive Director of the Perinatal HIV Research Unit, an affiliate of Wits University. Glenda’s global profile includes a role as Co-PI of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN), an international collaboration for the development of HIV/AIDS prevention vaccines. She has served as a Protocol Co-Chair of the multi-country Ensemble Study investigating the single-dose Ad26.COV2.S vaccine as an emergency response intervention. She received South Africa’s highest honour – the Order of Mapungubwe - for her pioneering research in PMTCT. She is a member of the board of GARDP, AAHI and a member of the WHO TB-STAG.
  • Rasmus is a globally recognised expert on scientific information and knowledge dissemination. He spent his earlier career as a Fortune500 strategist. Rasmus is a strong believer in the power of accurate information and new ideas - he founded his first, short lived, newspaper at the age of 13 - a passion that drove him to found Airfinity. As CEO of Airfinity he is often quoted in leading media companies such as Financial times, Bloomberg and CNN. He is a board member of the newspaper group, Rasmus holds a B.Sc. in Political Science, a MPA from Harvard University and is a recipient of the Crown Prince Frederic award for excellent scholarship. He lives in London.
  • Richard J. Hatchett, MD, is Chief Executive Officer of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, or CEPI – a global partnership that supports the swift development of and equitable access to new vaccines and other defenses against infectious diseases with epidemic and pandemic potential. Dr Hatchett’s and CEPI’s plan is for the world to neutralize those pandemic threats with prescient investment in scientific R&D. Before taking on the CEPI leadership just after its launch in 2017, Dr Hatchett was Acting Director of the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). He has also served under two U.S. Presidents – George W. Bush and Barack Obama – as Director of Medical Preparedness Policy on the Homeland and National Security Councils. Dr Hatchett has a medical degree from Vanderbilt and completed clinical training in internal medicine and medical oncology at Cornell and Duke.
  • A global public health expert, working for the World Health Organization since 2014, focusing on global health policy, multisectoral partnerships and communication and trust during crises. Her current portfolio includes building multisectoral partnerships for enhanced epidemic and pandemic preparedness and prevention, leading a multidisciplinary initiative to define and measure trust in the context of pandemics, and building an innovative digital solution to increase access to credible health information during high impact public health events.
  • Professor Prabhat Jha is a University Professor at the University of Toronto, Endowed Professor in Global Health and Epidemiology and Canada Research Chair at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, and the founding Director of the Centre for Global Health Research at St. Michael's Hospital. Professor Jha is the lead investigator of the Million Death Study in India, which quantifies the causes of premature mortality in over 3 million homes from 1998 to current. His publications on tobacco control have enabled a global treaty now signed by over 180 countries. He founded the Statistical Alliance for Vital Events, which focuses on reliable measurement of premature mortality worldwide. Earlier, Professor Jha served in senior roles at the World Health Organization and the World Bank. He was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2012. Professor Jha holds an M.D. from the University of Manitoba and a D.Phil. from Oxford University, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar.
  • Dr. Hannah Kettler is a global expert in corporate social innovation, currently serving as the acting Director for COVAX Design and Operationalization at Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. In this capacity she oversees the policy design and operationalization of the COVAX Facility and the establishment of a dedicated Health Security function to deepen Gavi’s engagement in responding to outbreaks, epidemics, and pandemics, building on Gavi’s current role and experience. Previously, Dr. Kettler worked as the Director for Vaccine Financing and Partnerships at PATH and 16 years at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, most recently as the Head of Industry and Leadership Engagement. In this role, she managed the Gates-CEO Roundtable. Dr. Kettler is a recognized authority and published author on policy incentives and partnership models to mobilize corporate investment in global health. She has a PhD in Economics from the University of Notre Dame.
  • Tariro Makadzange is a medical social-entrepreneur, infectious disease physician and viral immunologist. Her career has spanned academia and industry in Africa and the United States. She is founder and CEO of CRMG and Mutala Trust in Zimbabwe. CRMG is a research organization focused on diversifying research by including Africa and Africans in clinical trials and understanding immunogenetics in African populations including antibody discovery research for infectious diseases. Mutala Trust is a non-profit research organization that conducts public health and implementation science research in communicable and non-communicable diseases. She is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Clinical Medicine at Stanford University and Faculty Fellow at the Stanford Centre for Innovation in Global Health.
  • Mia Malan is the founder and editor-in-chief of Bhekisisa. She has worked in newsrooms in Johannesburg, Nairobi and Washington, DC, winning more than 30 awards for her radio, print and television work. A former Knight International Journalism Fellow and a Reuters Institute Journalism Fellow, Mia speaks internationally about health issues in Africa and media sustainability in the Global South. Mia has published widely in books and academic journals, including the Brown Journal of World Affairs and the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs. She was a TEDx speaker on how Covid changed news reporting and regularly moderates panels for high-level events.
  • Trevor Mundel leads the foundation’s efforts to develop high-impact interventions to drive down the global burden of infectious diseases. He manages the foundation’s disease-specific R&D investments in malaria, HIV, tuberculosis, pneumococcal disease, enteric and diarrheal diseases, and neglected tropical diseases. He also manages cross-cutting product development programs, including Discovery & Translational Sciences, diagnostic tools, Integrated Development, the Institute for Disease Modeling, and vaccine development. This work relies on close collaboration with a global network of grantees and partners. In 2018, Trevor spearheaded the creation of the Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute to address a critical gap facing the development of novel biomedical interventions for diseases that disproportionately impact those with the greatest need. Trevor was also responsible for leading the foundation’s early efforts to support the development of diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines for the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Sir Andrew is the Ashall Professor of Paediatric Infection and Immunity based within the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Oxford. He is the Director of the Oxford Vaccine Group and an honorary consultant Paediatrician at Oxford Children’s Hospital. He received a knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2021 for services to Public Health, especially in the pandemic, and the James Spence Medal in 2022. He along with the Oxford Vaccine Team were awarded the Copley Medal in 2023.
  • Tanvi Rai is a Senior Researcher in the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences at the University of Oxford. Her research focuses on the social determinants of health and health inequalities, and explores how historically-informed and reflexive approaches that account for the structural and material realities of different populations, as well as the positionality of researchers in the generation of new knowledge, can lead to more robust and relevant health research.
  • Dr Amadou A Sall is the CEO of Institut Pasteur de Dakar in Senegal and director of the WHO collaborating center for Arboviruses and viral hemorrhagic fever. He has been chairman of the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network and a member of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovation (CEPI) Scientific Advisory Board. Dr Sall is a virologist with a PhD in Public health. He is an expert in epidemics response and control more specifically for arboviruses and viral hemorrhagic fevers (Ebola, Zika, Yellow fever…) and high consequence pathogens. Dr Sall is a member of several expert committees for WHO (GOARN, TDR, SAGE, STAG-IH…) and OIE. Dr Sall is the co-chair of the COVID 19 laboratory technical working group of Africa Center for Disease Control and member of the Africa Union AFTCOR steering Committee as well as the Senegalese Committee for COVID 19. He is the chairman of the Pasteur Network.
  • Lynda Stuart, MD, PhD. Lynda Stuart is a scientist, doctor, and passionate advocate for healthcare as a human right. Until very recently was the VP for Infectious disease at BioNTech but is leaving to pursue a senior leadership role at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine as the Executive Director of the Institute for Protein Design. She earned a PhD from the University of Edinburgh and an MD from the University of Cambridge and the University of London. Dr. Stuart has served on the Massachusetts General Hospital Executive Committee for Research and as an affiliate of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. As the Deputy Director for Vaccines & Human Immunology at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, she led a team that aims to source novel approaches and accelerate the discovery, development, and translation of new passive and active immunisation strategies for foundation priority diseases. During the coronavirus pandemic, Dr. Stuart also led the Foundation’s COVID-19 discovery and translational vaccine response efforts. She was responsible for a large portfolio of COVID-19 and pan-coronavirus vaccine candidates, transitioning multiple candidates through preclinical development and into the clinic.
  • Eloise Todd is a co-founder of Pandemic Action Network and an advocacy, policy, campaigns, and strategy specialist. She has over 20 years' experience working to change legislation and budgets to improve lives. Primarily, she has worked in international development and global health, including as a political adviser within the EU institutions and as Global Policy Director of the ONE Campaign. Eloise campaigned against the UK's Brexit deal, founding and building a pro-European organization, Best for Britain, into a national campaign force. Eloise Co-founded Pandemic Action Network with 3 colleagues in April 2020, and took on the Executive Director role in August 2022. The Network fights to prevent future outbreaks becoming pandemics, and to work for equity in all areas of pandemic prevention, preparedness and response.
  • Professor Ngaire Woods is the founding Dean of the Blavatnik School of Government and Professor of Global Economic Governance at Oxford University. Her research focuses on how to enhance the governance of organisations, the challenges of globalisation, global development, and the role of international institutions and global economic governance. She founded the Global Economic Governance Programme at Oxford University, and co-founded (with Robert O. Keohane) the Oxford-Princeton Global Leaders Fellowship programme. She led the creation of the Blavatnik School of Government. Ngaire Woods serves as a member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank’s International Advisory Panel and as a Non-Executive Director at Rio Tinto. She is a trustee of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, the Stephen A. Schwarzman Education Foundation, and the Van Leer Foundation. She is a member of the Conseil d'administration of the Institut National Du Service Public. She sits on the advisory boards of the Centre for Global Development, the Hoffmann Global Institute for Business & Society, the African Leadership Institute, the School of Management and Public Policy at Tsinghua University, the Nelson Mandela School of Public Policy at Cape Town University, and the International Business and Diplomatic Exchange (IBDE). She is Vice-Chair of the Alfred Landecker Foundation’s Governing Council and a member of the UK Department for International Trade’s Trade and Economy Panel. She is also an honorary governor of the Ditchley Foundation and is co-Chair of the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on Frontier Risks.
  • Dr. Yang founded BVCF in 2005. He has over 20 years of China and U.S. life sciences investment experience as a private equity investor, senior executive, entrepreneur, and scientific inventor. As private equity investor, he has built portfolios of over 30 companies, with 8 exits (4 IPO and 4 acquisitions). As entrepreneur, he co-founded 7 companies, 6 of which continue to conduct business and grow. As scientist, he was the principal inventor of more than 10 U.S. and international patents, which have been documented to have earned MNCs over $250 million. He was a senior fellow and faculty member at Rockefeller University and is now an advisor to the China Health and Medical Development Foundation, under China Ministry of Health. Dr. Yang earned his PhD in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at Harvard University as a fellow of CUSBEA first class, the first group of mainland Chinese biology scholars selected to be brought to the U.S. after China opened its doors in 1979.

Forum Moderator

  • Tamsin has extensive experience in government and expertise in public policy. She lead serology and prevalence studies for the Government at the start of the Covid-19 Pandemic and as the former Director of the UK government’s Office for Life Sciences she worked with Sir John Bell to write the UK’s Life Sciences Industrial Strategy. This led to £3 billion of investment into UK biotech across a number of public and private partnership projects. Tamsin held a number of leadership positions in government, spanning policy, corporate and communications roles including at the Cabinet Office, Department of Health and Public Health England. She began her career in consultancy at Accenture.
  • Professor Dominiczak is a world-leading cardiovascular scientist and clinical academic. She has published extensively in top peer-reviewed journals (over 500 publications, an h-index of 118). Between 2010 and 2020 she was Vice-Principal and Head of the College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences at the University of Glasgow. Anna developed new clinical academic campus at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, where she led a triple helix partnership between academia, the NHS and industry to accelerate innovation, maximize patient benefits and economic growth. Dame Anna is a member of several editorial boards and, from 2012 - 2022, was Editor-in-Chief of Hypertension, journal of the American Heart Association, currently she is Editor-in Chief of Precision Medicine, a new Prism journal of the Cambridge Press. In March 2020, Anna led the establishment of Lighthouse Laboratory in Glasgow to provide rapid Covid–19 diagnostics, and then was asked to become Director of Laboratories at the UK Department of Health and Social Care to lead all 10 Lighthouse Laboratories across the UK, the role she fulfilled until 2022. In July 2022 she was appointed as a Chief Scientist (Health) for the Scottish Government. She works with the Chief Scientist Office to formulate and implement research and innovation strategy with a focus on transformative innovations that improve health of Scottish communities.
  • Hannah Kuchler is the global pharmaceuticals correspondent for the Financial Times, leading the business newspaper’s coverage of the life sciences industry. She has reported on the Covid-19 pandemic, receiving an honourable mention at the Society for Advanced Business Editing and Writing awards for a feature she led on the Pfizer vaccine. In the US, Kuchler collaborated with PBS Frontline on a documentary about the opioids crisis, which was nominated for an Emmy and won a Loeb award. Before covering the life sciences industry, she was a technology correspondent in Silicon Valley. She has worked for the FT for thirteen years in London, Hong Kong, New York, and San Francisco.
  • Dr. Gabriel Seidman leads the global and domestic public health work at the Ellison Institute and its partnership with the Global Health Security Consortium. He has lived and worked on public health issues with governments across Africa and with multilateral global health organizations, including the World Bank and the Global Fund. His research and work focuses on global governance for health, health systems strengthening, and digital tools to improve health outcomes. Gabriel holds a Doctorate of Public Health from Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health.
  • Emily Stanger Sfeile is Executive Director, Strategic Partnerships and Initiatives. She drives the strategy and delivery of partnerships for the Institute, including TBI’s flagship work connecting tech innovators and leaders under the Tomorrow Partnership. Emily has worked closely with Heads of State for fifteen years advising on economic and social policy. Early in her career she was named to Forbes 30 under 30 list for law and policy. She holds a Master in International Development from Harvard University and degrees in Economics and Theology.


Event Registration