How a health attache can elevate global health diplomacy

COVID-19 highlighted the flaws and inequalities in global public health systems as well as transboundary cooperation. As the world emerges from the pandemic, it is a critical time for health policymakers, diplomats, foreign governments, inter-country organizations, and practitioners to innovate and fill the gaps in the system. 

In his recently published issue brief Health attaches are the missing link in global diplomacy, South Asia Center non-resident senior fellow Dr. Edmond Fernandes argues that health attaches are the missing piece in diplomacy to strengthen global health infrastructure. He asserts that the system would benefit from having trained medical experts as health attaches to be the first line of communication between countries on the subject of global public health.

To launch the issue brief, the South Asia Center convened a panel of experts including academics and practitioners along with the author to assess the issue while reflecting on the wider need to prioritize global health diplomacy.

This program was recorded on January 17, 2023.


Dr. Edmond Fernandes
Non-Resident Senior Fellow
Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center

Amb. Mustapha Jawara
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to India with Accreditation to Sri Lanka, the Maldives, and Bangladesh
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Gambia

Dr. Rebecca Katz
Professor and Director of the Center for Global Health Science and Security
Georgetown University

Dr. Syed Muntasir Mamun
Chief Innovation Officer & Director General, International Trade, Investment & Technology, ICT
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bangladesh

Moderated by

Dr. Amita Vyas
Non-Resident Senior Fellow
Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center

The South Asia Center is the hub for the Atlantic Council’s analysis of the political, social, geographical, and cultural diversity of the region. ​At the intersection of South Asia and its geopolitics, SAC cultivates dialogue to shape policy and forge ties between the region and the global community.

Related Experts: Edmond Fernandes and Amita N. Vyas

Image: Overview of the 75th World Health Assembly of the World Health Organisation (WHO) at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, May 22, 2022. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse