Former health minister Ali Pate gets World Bank, Harvard University appointments

The Nigerian former Minister of State for Health, Muhammad Ali Pate, has received two appointments from the World Bank Group and the public health graduate school of Harvard University: Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health.

Dr. Pate was appointed earlier this May by the World Bank Group as the Global Director of Health, Nutrition and Population (HNP) and Director, Global Financing Facility (GFF), in Washington DC. At about the same time, he was also appointed by the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health as Julio Frenk Professor of Public Health Leadership in the Department of Global Health and Population.

Both appointments are effective from July 1, 2019. However, the Harvard T. H. Chan School said Dr. Pate will be on leave while he serves as the Global Director for HNP and GFF.

In his new position with the World Bank Group, Ali Pate will lead, develop and communicate the vision and strategic direction of the HNP and the GFF, as well as the linkages to the Human Capital Project; ensure that global priorities are effectively integrated into country programmes; oversee the delivery of high-quality global engagements; and work closely with the HNP practice affiliated regional directors.

He will effectively oversee strategic staffing and talent management for staff in the HNP practice and the GFF to deploy and create knowledge and solutions.

Established in 2015, the GFF’s goal is to end preventable maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent deaths and improve the health and quality of life of women, children, and adolescents.


Until recently, he was the Chief Executive Officer of Big Win Philanthropy — a UK-based organisation that invests in children and young adults in developing countries – to improve their living standard and maximise demographic dividends for economic growth.

Prior to Ali Pate’s appointment as Nigeria’s Minister of State for Health in 2011, he had successfully served as the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).

In 2013, he resigned as the Minister of State for Health to join the Duke University’s Global Health Institute, where he served as a visiting professor and taught comparative health systems to postgraduate students.

At NPHCDA, Dr. Pate introduced various reforms that dramatically increased immunisation coverage in Northern Nigeria.

He also led the reform that increased the pool of skilled birth attendants and improved delivery of services, helping to reduce high maternal and child mortality.