April 14, 2022

CHAI Board of Directors announces appointment of Dr. Neil Buddy Shah as Chief Executive Officer

For immediate release, April 14, 2022 — The Board of The Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Neil Buddy Shah as Chief Executive Officer of CHAI, succeeding interim co-CEOs Joy Phumaphi and Ann Veneman, who will remain on the CHAI Board of Directors. Buddy’s appointment will be effective on June 14, 2022.

“We are thrilled to welcome Buddy to the CHAI family,” said Alan Schwartz, Chairman of the Board and Chair of the CEO Search Committee. “Buddy has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to global health and development. Trained as a medical doctor and economist, he brings deep leadership experience as an innovative founder, a CEO, a funder, as well as a thought leader in the important movement around transparency and effectiveness of global health and development programs. This unique combination of technical vision and leadership skills is a perfect fit for CHAI’s next phase of growth.”

Buddy will work with the Board, CHAI’s Senior Leadership Team, and staff to design and execute CHAI’s strategy to drive transformational change at the service of our government partners. As a leader in the movement around “Effective Altruism”, Buddy will also work to bridge more traditional sources of development assistance with newer philanthropic efforts in order to save and improve as many lives as possible around the world.

Joy will work closely with Buddy as part of the leadership transition, including on deepening CHAI’s ongoing initiatives around primary healthcare and CHAI’s localization efforts to best represent the communities we serve. As co-Chair of the Lancet Pathfinder Commission on Climate Change and Health, she will also work with Buddy on the intersection between climate and health. “We are grateful for Ann and Joy’s service as interim co-CEOs and board members. We are delighted that CHAI and Buddy will continue to benefit from Joy’s unparalleled leadership and knowledge in the global health sector,” said Alan Schwartz.

“I am excited to join CHAI and am grateful for the trust that the Board has placed in me to steward CHAI into its next phase. I have long had a deep admiration for CHAI, its incredibly talented people, and the values with which they work – acting entrepreneurially and with urgency to save as many lives as possible. Far too many of our fellow humans die from preventable causes or lack the opportunity to live their fullest lives, simply by accident of the circumstances of their birth. I believe that CHAI has the people, skills, and track record to drive transformational impact in changing this reality, alongside our government partners. I look forward to building with my new colleagues to deliver on our shared goal of erasing this accident of birth.”

About Neil Buddy Shah
Trained as a physician and development economist, Dr. Neil Buddy Shah is an award-winning social entrepreneur, CEO, and global health funder who is passionate about making global health efforts as impactful as possible.

Dr. Shah is currently the Managing Director of GiveWell, a research and funding organization that directs hundreds of millions of dollars per year to programs in global health and development. GiveWell seeks to identify and fund the most cost-effective ways to save lives and has recently emerged as one of the world’s largest private funders in global health.

Dr. Shah was previously co-founder, CEO and now Board Chair of IDinsight, a global development data analytics and advisory firm with offices across Africa, Asia, and the US. At IDinsight, he helped pioneer the practical application of cutting-edge data and impact measurement tools such as randomized controlled trials, machine learning, and results-based financing mechanisms to improve the impact of lifesaving and antipoverty programs across Africa and Asia. Buddy worked previously at the World Bank and MIT’s Jameel Poverty Action Lab.

Buddy holds an AB in economics from Harvard, an MD with special distinction in global health policy from Einstein College of Medicine in New York, and an MPA in International Development from Harvard Kennedy School.

Dr. Shah serves on the Boards of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria (Private Foundations Board Constituency); the Institute to End Mass Incarceration at Harvard Law School; Educate Girls; Giving Green; and IDinsight. He is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, has served as guest faculty at Harvard Kennedy School and Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, and is a former Echoing Green Fellow and Forbes’ 30 under 30 Social Entrepreneur. He has lived and worked in India, Cambodia, Uganda, and the United States.


About CHAI | The Clinton Health Access Initiative, Inc. (CHAI) is a global health organization committed to saving lives and reducing the burden of disease in low-and middle-income countries. We work with our partners to help strengthen the capabilities of governments and the private sector to create and sustain high-quality health systems. For more information, please visit www.clintonhealthaccess.org.


Joy Phumaphi, Interim co-CEO, CHAI, jphumaphi@clintonhealthaccess.org

Regan Lachapelle, Director of Communications, CHAI, rlachapelle@clintonhealthaccess.org

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