Professor Agnes Binagwaho, MD, M(Ped), PhD is a Rwandan pediatrician who returned to Rwanda in July of 1996, two years after the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi. Since then, she has provided clinical care in the public sector as well as held a number of project and health system management, and government, and academic positions. Professor Binagwaho currently resides in Kigali.
Personal Life and Education
Professor Binagwaho was born in Nyamagabe, Southern Province, Rwanda. When she was three years old, she and her family moved to Belgium, where her father was completing his medical degree (MD).
Professor Binagwaho completed her Medical Degree (MD) in General Medicine at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (1976-84) and her Masters Degree in Pediatrics (MA) at the Université de Bretagne Occidentale (1989-93). In 2010, she was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science (Hon. D.Sc.) from Dartmouth College. In 2014, she became the first person to earn a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) from the College of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of Rwanda. Professor Binagwaho’s PhD Dissertation was titled, “Children’s Right to Health in the Context of the HIV Epidemic: The Case of Rwanda.”
To increase her skills in health service delivery, research, and program management, Professor Binagwaho has completed a number of academic certificates. She earned a Certificate of Tropical Medicine from the Institute of Tropical Medicine at Anvers, Belgium (1984-85). At the University de Bretagne Occidentale Professor Binagwaho completed three certificates: a Certificate in Axiology (General Emergencies) (1991-1992); a Certificate in Pediatric Emergencies (1992-1993); and a Certificate in HIV Patient Care and Treatment (1994-1995). She also completed a training program in AIDS prevention and surveillance studies in Kigali, Rwanda through the World AIDS Foundation, hosted by the University of New Mexico School of Medicine’s Health Sciences Center (July-August 1997), a certificate in Health and Human Rights – Dimensions and Strategies with InWEnt – Capacity Building International (Internationale Weiterbildung und Entwicklung gGmbH) and the World Health Organization (2009-2010), and a Social and Behavioral Research Investigators Certificate by the US-based organization Citi Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative.
Honors and Awards
Professor Binagwaho received the 2015 Roux Prize and the 2015 Ronald McDonald House Charities Award of Excellence. In 2015, she was honored to give a David E. Barmes Global Health Lecturer for the National Institutes of Health. She was also named as one of the 100 Most Influential Africans women for 2020 and 100 Most Influential African women for 2021. In 2017, she became a Resident Policy Fellow for The Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center. In 2018, she received the Universal Health Coverage Country Leadership Award.
In 2017, Professor Binagwaho was appointed Vice Chancellor of the University of Global Health Equity (UGHE), an initiative of Partners In Health.
Since 2008, Professor Binagwaho has been a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She is also a Professor of the Practice of Global Health Delivery and a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Global Health Equity in Rwanda as well as an Adjunct Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. Currently, Professor Binagwaho serves as a faculty affiliate to the Center for African Studies at Harvard University.
Professor Binagwaho’s academic engagements include research on health equity and social justice, HIV/AIDS and non-communicable diseases, health system strengthening, information and communication technologies (ICT) in e-health, and pediatric care delivery systems. She has published over 220 peer-reviewed articles.
Professor Binagwaho serves on the board of AMP Health and in 2019, she joined the Rockefeller Foundation board of trustees and became a member of the executive advisory board for the Wellcome Trust Global Monitor.
Since 2020, she became a member of the advisory board for the Women Political Leaders Global Survey on Immunization and a member of the board of directors for the Consortium of Universities for Global Health.
In 2021, she became the co-chair of the Board of commissioners for the Independent Commission on Multilateral approaches to pandemics, security, pandemics, security and sustainable development (COMPASS).
International Task Forces, Groups, and Committee memberships:
Since 2010, Professor Binagwaho has served as a member of the Global Task Force on Expanded Access to Cancer Care and Control in Developing Countries. Professor Binagwaho is a member of the joint scientific committee for the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations/ China Ministry of Science and Technology
Professor Binagwaho is a member of the Africa Europe Strategy Group on Health and serves on the Women Leaders Network at the Africa Europe Foundation. She is also a member of UNESCO Global Independent Expert Group on the Universities and the 2030 agenda.
Since 2021, she serves as a member of the advisory group for Plateforme de l’observatoire Africain de la Santé sur les systèmes et les politiques(AHOP), as well as a member for the Africa CDC Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE). In addition, she serves as a member of the Cochrane Convenes Group and the Science Innovation Platform for Rwanda.
She serves as the co-chair of the expert panel of the Commonwealth Road Safety Initiative. She serves as chair for the steering committee for the Clearly Research Program. Since 2021, she serves as co-chair for the International Conference for Public Health in Africa.
Since 2021, Prof. Binagwaho serves as a member of the Expert Advisory Group (NCD Agenda-Setting Paper) for the Non Communicable Disease Alliance.
She also serves as the Co-chair of the Science & Strategic Advisory Council (SSAC) for the International Covid-19 Data Research Alliance and as Co-chair for the Global Health and Covid-19 Task Force for the T20. Since 2021, she is a member of the African Commission on COVID-19 for the African Union.
Editorial Board Positions:
Professor Binagwaho is a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of the Health and Human Rights Journal and the Health Economics and Management Review. She also serves on the editorial team of Annals of Global Journal and on the editorial board of the International Journal Of Health Policy And Management. Since 2017, Professor Binagwaho has been on the editorial board for the East African health research journal and serves as a member of the editorial board for the Bulletin of the World Health Organization.
Academies of Science:
Professor Binagwaho is a fellow at The African Academy Of Sciences, the National Academy Of Medicine in the United States and THE WORLD ACADEMY OF SCIENCES (TWAS) for the Advancement Of Science In Developing Countries.
Professor Binagwaho also serves on the TWAS Policy Development and Future Action (PDFA) Committee 2021-2022.
Professor Binagwaho served as the Minister of Health of Rwanda (May 2011- July 2016). Prior to this, she served as the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health of Rwanda (October 2008-May 2011) and as the Executive Secretary of Rwanda’s National AIDS Control Commission (2002–2008).
Professor Binagwaho was the chair of the Rwandan Steering Committee for the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (2002-2008). During that period, she was also responsible for the management of the World Bank MAP Project in Rwanda. In addition, Professor Binagwaho served on The Global Fund’s Rwanda Country Coordinating Mechanism, first as a Member (2002-2008) and then as Chair (2008-2011). Professor Binagwaho was a Member of the Rwandan High Level Implementation Committee of the Aid Policy (2009-2010).
Professor Binagwaho has served on the editorial board of Public Library of Science (PLOS) (2009-17) and the International Advisory Board for Lancet Global Health Journal (2013-15).
International Task Forces, Groups, and Committees:
Professor Binagwaho was a member of the United Nations Tracking and Accountability Working Group (2010) and the Joint Action Plan for Women’s and Children’s Health as a Member of the Innovation Working Group. She was also a participant in The Global Fund’s Policy and Strategy Committee (2009-2010).
Professor Binagwaho was a member of the Steering Committee for the Multi-Country Support Program on SSR/HIV/AIDS (2004-09) and the Advisory Body of the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam, Netherlands. In 2004, Professor Binagwaho was also a member of the Time magazine’s Health Advisory Board. Professor Binagwaho served as a Founding Board Member of the Tropical Institute of the Community Health and Development in Africa, (2002-11) based in Kisumu, Kenya.