Derek Yach

Dr. Derek Yach is Senior Vice President of Global Health and Agriculture Policy at PepsiCo where he leads the internal Global Human Sustainability Task Force and engagement with major international policy, research and scientific groups.

Previously he has headed global health at the Rockefeller Foundation, been Professor of Public Health and head of the Division of Global Health at Yale University. He is also a former executive director of the World Health Organization (WHO). Dr. Yach has spearheaded several major efforts to improve global health. At the WHO he served as cabinet director under Director-General Gro Harlem Brundtland. Dr. Yach helped place tobacco control, nutrition and chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease prominently on the agenda of governments, non-governmental organizations and the private sector. He led development of WHO’s first treaty, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, and the development of the Global Strategy on Diet and Physical Activity.

As a South African national, Dr. Yach established the Centre for Epidemiological Research at the South African Medical Research Council ,which focused on quantifying inequalities and the impact of urbanization on health. He has authored or co-authored over 200 articles covering the breadth of global health issues. Dr Yach serves on several advisory boards including those of the Clinton Global Initiative, the World Economic Forum, the PAHEF Foundation, the Oxford Health Alliance and Vitality USA.

Dr. Yach received his Doctor of Science with honors from Georgetown University and his Master in public health from Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health. He received his Bachelor of Science in epidemiology from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa, and his Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery degree from the University of Cape Town Medical School in South Africa.

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Enterprise EthioPEA

Later today, with the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting as a backdrop, PepsiCo's CEO Indra Nooyi will come together with Josette Sheeran from the United Nations World Food Programme and Dr. Rajiv Shah from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to announce a partnership that will lead a chickpea revolution to promote economic and nutritional security in Ethiopia. Read more

The Critical Role of the Food Industry in the Obesity Debate

The highly-regarded Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Trust for America’s Health this week published the seventh annual edition of “F as in Fat”, a report on obesity in the U.S.  The report includes commentary by a variety of notable public figures.   Among them is PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi. The fact that the report would include comments from the leader of a food company, particularly one whose product portfolio includes treats like soft drinks and potato chips, has drawn some criticism.  The critics seem to feel there is no place for a food industry viewpoint in such a report. I disagree. To suggest PepsiCo and other food companies should not have a voice in the discussion of how to address global obesity seems counterproductive. The UK Foresight Report on Obesity and the White House Report on Obesity both have spelled out roles industry can play in preventing... Read more