Dr. Lia Tadesse Gebremedhin has been appointed Executive Director of the Harvard Ministerial Leadership Program. Lia brings a wealth of experience and demonstrated success in her leadership as the former Minister and State Minister of Health in Ethiopia, as well as in other leadership roles. She assumed her role as Minister a day after the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 pandemic, and she played a crucial role in navigating her country through the unprecedented challenges posed by the pandemic.

In addition to spearheading the national pandemic response, Lia built health system resilience during her tenure as Minister. This included significantly increasing national oxygen and critical care capacity, enhancing local pharmaceutical manufacturing, and launching the first vaccine manufacturing initiative in Ethiopia. She forged collaborations across sectors, regionally and globally, delivering results that saved lives while navigating diverse priorities.

In her new role, Lia brings an experienced perspective to support leaders in unleashing the potential of a human capital dividend and improving economies. She articulates her commitment, saying:

“The current leadership landscape is complex with competing priorities amidst constrained resources. As the Executive Director, I plan to build on the significant reputation of the Harvard Ministerial Program and its work in fostering cross-government collaboration and transformative leadership among pivotal government leaders.”

Lia succeeds Dr. Michael Sinclair, who served as the Executive Director of the Harvard Ministerial Leadership Program since its inception in 2012. Michael will support the leadership transition in an advisory capacity through the end of 2024.