Washington (December 3, 2014) – Derek Yach, executive director of the Vitality Institute and former senior vice president of global health and agriculture at PepsiCo, joined APCO Worldwide’s Health Advisory Board (HAB) today, Stig Albinus, global practice leader of APCO’s health care practice, announced today. The HAB is a specialty group of APCO’s International Advisory Council that is comprised of former health policy officials, public health leaders and heads of communication of large pharmaceutical and insurance companies.
“The depth of Derek’s expertise in global health and food policy is rare. Few people have experienced firsthand how to navigate the world’s leading health issues from both the public and private sectors,” said Albinus. “The public health issues of our time are increasingly connected with the food policies and food quality standards we have in place. Derek’s unique experience working on the world’s most challenging health issues from both the medical and food quality and safety perspectives will be a tremendous benefit to our clients.”
Yach has more than 30 years of international health policy experience, and recently served as a senior vice president of global health and agriculture policy at PepsiCo, where he supported portfolio transformation and led engagement with major international groups as well as new African initiatives at the nexus of agriculture and nutrition. Prior to his work with PepsiCo, Yach served as a director of global health at the Rockefeller Foundation, a professor of global health at Yale University and an executive director for noncommunicable diseases and mental health at the World Health Organization (WHO). As a cabinet director under Director-General Gro Harlem Brundtland at the WHO, Yach led the development of WHO’s Global Strategy on Diet and Physical Activity.
“APCO’s clients deal with some of the most complex health issues confronting the public and private sectors to date, and fully addressing these issues will require the kind multi-stakeholder collaboration for which APCO is well-known,” said Yach. “I look forward to working with my fellow HAB members and helping APCO’s clients.”
Earlier in his career, Yach, a native South African, 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. Yach received his Doctor of Science with honors from Georgetown University and his master’s in public health from Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health. He holds a bachelor of science in epidemiology from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa, and a bachelor of medicine from the University of Cape Town Medical School in South Africa.
Yach joins a robust group of health and food experts on the IAC, including the following:
- Daniel Glickman, former U.S. secretary of agriculture
- Karen Hulebak, Ph.D.,former chair of the Codex Alimentarius Commission
- Bob Kocher, M.D., former special assistant to President Barack Obama for health care and economic policy
- Phyllis Piano, former head of communications for GE’s medical business; former vice president of corporate communications and philanthropy at Amgen
- Richard Raymond, M.D., former undersecretary for food safety at the U.S. Department of Agriculture; former director of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Regulation and Licensure division