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 management, health system strengthening, and government 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 Universite Libre de Bruxelles (1976-84) and her Masters Degree in Pediatrics (MA) at the Universite 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 be awarded 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 (November 2009-April 2010), and a Social and Behavioral Research Investigators Certificate by the US-based organization Citi Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative.
Professor Binagwaho received the 2015 Roux Prizeand the 2015 Ronald McDonald House Charities Award of Excellence. She was also named as one of the 100 Most Influential Africans women for 2020.
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. Since 2016, she is a member of the American National Academy of Medicine and, since 2017, a fellow of the African Academy of Sciences. 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, HIV/AIDS, information and communication technologies (ICT) in e-health, and pediatric care delivery systems. She has published over 180 peer-reviewed articles.
Boards and Advisory Positions:
Professor Binagwaho is a Senior Advisor to the Director General of the World Health Organization, and a member of the African Advisory Board of the Steven Lewis Foundation. She is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Women Political Leaders Global Survey on Immunization.
In 2019, Professor Binagwaho joined the Rockefeller Foundation board of trustees. In addition, she serves as the co-chair of the expert panel of the Commonwealth Road Safety Initiative, and as a member of the advisory board of the Wellcome Trust. Since 2017, Professor Binagwaho has been on the editorial board for the East African health research journal.
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. She is also a member of the Global He@lth Innovative Task Force and sits on the editorial board of several scientific journals among them the Journal of Health and Human Rights.
She co-chaired the Millennium Development Goal Project Task Force on HIV/AIDS and Access to Essential Medicines for the Secretary-General of the United Nations under the leadership of Professor Jeffrey Sachs. Professor Binagwaho co-chaired the Joint Learning Initiative on Children and HIV/AIDS (JLICA) (2006–09). She funded the Rwandan Pediatric Society and chaired it up to 2020.
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 (2002–08).
Professor Binagwaho was the chair of the Rwandan Steering Committee for the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (2002-08). 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 (2002-08) and then as Chair (2008-11). Professor Binagwaho was a Member of the Rwandan High Level Implementation Committee of the Aid Policy (2009-10).
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).
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 (2009-10). Professor Binagwaho co-chaired the Joint Learning Initiative on Children and HIV/AIDS (JLICA) (2006–09) and held the position of Co-Chair of the United NationsTask Force of the Millennium Development Goals Project for HIV/AIDS and Access to Essential Medicines (2001-05).
Professor Binagwaho was as 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.