Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI)

WHO Tobacco Free Initiative

Dr Vinayak Mohan Prasad, Programme Manager

Dr Vinayak M Prasad, Programme Manager, leads the WHO Tobacco Free Initiative (TFI) and is responsible for the overall coordination of tobacco control programme in WHO HQ, including liaison with WHO Regions and with the Convention Secretariat to WHO-FCTC.

He joined WHO TFI in December 2009 to manage the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-funded project for building capacity for tobacco control in WHO's African region. As programme Manager, Dr Prasad also coordinates the National Capacity building team for tobacco control (Implementation of key demand reduction measures (MPOWER), Tobacco Product regulation, Cessation, Trade and Law issues etc. In addition, Dr Prasad is part of the Be He@lthy Be Mobile team, that is working to scale up use of mhealth technologies to address the NCDs.

Prior to joining WHO, Dr Prasad worked with the Government of India in various capacities. From 2004 to 2009 he was Director (Public Health) and tobacco control focal point in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Apart from tobacco control, he was responsible for India's largest tertiary health-care scale up project and a few other national programmes.

From 1991-2004, he worked in various capacities in the Ministry of Finance's Department of Revenue (Customs and Central Excise), including organizational development to improve revenue administration and simply customs procedures.

An expert in trade, taxes and smuggling, he was invited in 2006 to help WHO develop a template protocol on illicit trade in tobacco products. He also advised the Secretariat of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control on intergovernmental negotiations.

He holds a master's degree in business administration with a specialization in public service from the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, and a bachelor's degree in medicine from Maulana Azad Medical College, University of Delhi, India.