Why the Global Health Council folded, and what’s next

By Jaclyn Schiff 04 May 2012

Global Health Council booth. The council will cease operations in the coming months. Photo by: GHC Facebook

Twenty-twelve marks an important year for the Global Health Council — 40 years since it was founded.

But instead of celebrating that milestone, GHC will shut its doors in the coming months and forgo its annual conference for the first time since 1973.

The council’s announcement Friday, April 20, that it will cease operations leaves a vacuum in the global health community. Described as the professional association for groups involved with global health and the convener of the community, GHC members will be left without a neutral broker, inviting questions about what went wrong and what comes next.

The simplest explanation for why the council is shutting its doors is money. GHC’s operations were largely funded by membership dues in the 1980s and ’90s, but the organization relied more heavily on grants over the last few years, including a three-year Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant that made up the majority of GHC’s budget.

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About the author

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Jaclyn Schiff

Jaclyn Schiff is a Washington-based correspondent for Devex. Her focus is on global health and professional development. Jaclyn is also the managing editor of the Brazen Careerist’s blog, and she has written for the U.N. Dispatch, allAfrica.com, CBSNews.com, National Public Radio, PBS MediaShift and other news sources. She is the founder of MediaSchiff, which provides real-time social media services for events and conferences.


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