Wondimagegnehu (Wondi) Alemu, MD
Clincal Associate Professor
Dr. Wondimagegnehu (Wondi) Alemu is a medical doctor specializing in public health, with extensive leadership experience in government and international organizations. He spent the bulk of his career at the World Health Organization (WHO), working in various leadership capacities for over two decades. During this time, he directed the development and implementation, of the highly successful Integrated Disease Surveillance & Response (IDSR) Program, in the African region and served as Head of Mission and Representative of WHO in Sierra Leone; Uganda and Nigeria. During his tenure, Dr Alemu coordinated the health emergency and responses to various disease outbreaks across the region.
Before Joining WHO, he worked for UNICEF as a Health Project Officer for child health responsible for childhood diarrheal and respiratory disease control and advising on immunization activities. He co-led the UNICEF’s efforts to support the Ethiopian government in launching the district microplanning process for accelerating the national immunization program coverage, an innovative approach to raise immunization coverage at the time.
His passion for making impactful change has been demonstrated throughout his career, which began as a Medical Director of a rural hospital in his native Ethiopia. He continued to serve his country on other public health leadership roles including as Manager of the Regional Health Bureau, Manager of National Immunization Program and Head of National Epidemiological Surveillance and Research Division. As immunization program manager, he led the country’s Universal Child Immunization (UCI) efforts to meet the target of UCI by 1990.
Dr. Alemu’s areas of expertise include health systems and services strengthening, epidemiology, public health surveillance, disease prevention and control and global health leadership. He is a strong advocate for community engagement in delivery of equitable quality health care to achieve UHC for all. He is a champion for gender equality and empowerment as well as elimination of violence against women.
Following is retirement from the WHO end of 2018, Dr. Alemu actively engaged in teaching, as an Adjunct Faculty at Emory University, Hubert Department of Global Health in the USA and Abia State University, Depart of Health Sciences in Nigeria.
He was recalled by WHO as an advisor to Africa’s COVID-19 Pandemic Response as well as supporting the Regional Health Emergency Program flagship initiatives to reinvigorate preparedness, detection and response capacities in countries.