Derek Yach has focused his career on advancing global health. He is currently an independent Global Health Consultant.
He was the founder and president of the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World, an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to accelerating global efforts to reduce deaths and harm from smoking, with the ultimate goal of eliminating smoking worldwide.
Previously, he was Chief Health Officer for the Vitality Group, part of Discovery Holdings Ltd., where he led the Vitality Institute for Health Promotion. Prior to his role at Vitality, served as Senior Vice President of Global Health and Agriculture Policy at PepsiCo, where he supported portfolio transformation and led engagement with major international groups and new African initiatives at the nexus of agriculture and nutrition. He has headed global health at the Rockefeller Foundation, has been a Professor of Global Health at Yale University, and is a former Executive Director for Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health of the World Health Organization (WHO). At WHO, he served as cabinet director under Director-General Gro Harlem Brundtland where he led the development of WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and the Global Strategy on Diet and Physical Activity.
Dr. Yach established the Centre for Epidemiological Research at the South African Medical Research Council. He has authored or co-authored over 200 articles covering the breadth of global health. Dr. Yach serves on several advisory boards including those of the Clinton Global Initiative, the World Economic Forum, the NIH’s Fogarty International Centre and PepsiCo’s Scientific Advisory Board.