Dr Sarah Louise Barber appointed as new Director for the WHO Kobe Centre

WHO Kobe Centre

The World Health Organization (WHO) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Sarah Louise Barber as the new Director of the WHO Centre for Health Development in Kobe, Japan (WKC). She will lead the Centre’s global research on policies to achieve universal health coverage (UHC) and advance innovation, particularly to address the needs of older people. Dr Barber will take over on May 1st from Mr Alex Ross, who led the Centre from October 2011.

Dr Barber is a distinguished health economist and policy specialist. Before becoming Director of the WHO Kobe Centre, she worked on strategic policy issues with the WHO including as Senior Health Policy Advisor in the Office of the Regional Director for Africa, WHO Representative to South Africa, Team Leader for Health Systems Development in China, and as Health Policy Advisor in Indonesia and Cambodia. In South Africa, China, Indonesia, and Mexico, Dr Barber developed programs of technical cooperation and research to advance reforms to achieve universal health coverage. Over the past 25 years, she has published widely on diverse topics in health economics and policy analysis. Dr Barber holds doctorate and post-doctorate qualifications from the University of California, Berkeley, USA, focusing on economic evaluation.

"I am honored to have the opportunity to lead the WHO Kobe Centre. We will strive to conduct high quality research that supports countries in transforming their health systems to address emerging challenges, and respond to the needs of older people,” said Dr Barber. “WKC has a unique role in WHO in developing innovative solutions to emerging health trends. It also plays a key role in sharing lessons learned from Kobe, Hyogo and Japan to other countries facing similar challenges.”