Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI)

WHO Tobacco Free Initiative

Virginia Arnold, Project Officer

Virginia Arnold joined the WHO Tobacco Free Initiative in 2007 as the Project Officer for the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use. In this position she is responsible for external relations, global reporting and management of the Bloomberg Initiative.

She has worked at the World Health Organization's headquarters in Geneva since 2000

Before joining the Tobacco Free Initiative, she was a Special Assistant in the Office of former WHO Director-General Jong-wook Lee. She briefed him for and accompanied him on more than 50 official visits and international meetings with heads of state and government to discuss their countries' health needs. She also worked with the governments of France, Norway and Brazil to help develop an innovative financing mechanism called UNITAID, under which a special levy on airline ticket sales is used to fund anti-tuberculosis, -malaria and -HIV drug purchases.

From 2000 to 2004 she was part of a small team that conceptualized and established the Stop TB Partnership – a network of public and private organizations supporting tuberculosis control globally She also managed a new tuberculosis drug procurement project, the Global TB Drug Facility, which provided free anti-tuberculosis drugs to low- and middle-income countries.

Before joining WHO, she worked at HSBC bank in London, the United Nations in New York and the United Kingdom Foreign Office in Canada.

She holds a bachelor's degree in biological anthropology from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom and a master's degree in international affairs from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs in Canada, where she was a Commonwealth Scholar.

From 2009 to 2010 she was the Sainsbury Scholar at the Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge, where she received a master's degree in business administration.