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Board of Directors

Sheila Leatherman, MSW, CBE, Hon. FRCP

Professor of Global Health Policy, Department of Health Management, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina

Sheila Leatherman’s professional experience stretches across the breadth of health care management, public health and health policy with expertise in quality of care, performance improvement in the health sector, health systems reforms and humanitarian health.  She has worked with over 50 countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America and North America. Most of her research and policy analysis involves developing methods to assess health system performance and advising governments on ways to improve the access to, and the quality of, care.

As a lead advisor to the World Health Organization since 2015, Leatherman develops the academic and technical foundations for WHO support of member states in the development of national health care quality agendas to improve health care services and outcomes around the world. The program, known as NQPS (National Quality Policy and Strategy), produces guidance and provides technical support to ministries of health around the world. In May 2020, the UN/WHO Global Polio Eradication Initiative appointed her to the Polio Transition Independent Monitoring Board, where she guides the transition from the eradication of polio to the maintenance of a polio-free world.

She joined the University of North Carolina’s Gillings School of Global Public Health in 2000 as a professor of global health policy and has been a distinguished associate at Darwin College, Cambridge University, since 1997. She also has been a visiting professor at the London School of Economics and at Radboud University in the Netherlands. From 1998 to 2006, she was a senior advisor to the Nuffield Trust, an independent health care policy and research center in the United Kingdom, and later served as a trustee.

Leatherman was elected as a member of the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine in 2002 and an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in 2005. Two years later she was named a Commander of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II for her contributions to the National Health Service. A life member of the International Society for Quality in Health Care, she was presented in 2019 with its Presidential Citation in recognition of her contributions to the organization.

Earlier in her career, Leatherman held several positions at UnitedHealth Group, where she established the company’s research division and founded the Center for Health Policy and Evaluation, a research affiliate. A graduate of Tulane University, where she majored in anthropology, she received a master’s degree in social work from the University of Arkansas.

Leatherman joined the FHI 360 Board of Directors in November 2021.