Type of entity
Authorized form of name
Individual Staff Member - Zewdie, Debrework
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Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules
Other form(s) of name
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Dates of existence
Dr. Debrework Zewdie, an Ethiopian national, joined the World Bank in 1994 where she served in various positions for fifteen years. Prior to joining the Bank, Zewdie was the deputy regional director of the Africa Region for the AIDS Control and Prevention project (AIDSCAP) of Family Health International in Nairobi, Kenya. Previously, Zewdie held several public health and managerial positions focusing on reproductive health and HIV/AIDS prevention and mitigation, including head of the Immunohematology Department at the National Research Institute of Health (NRIH) in Addis Ababa, deputy director at NRIH, and later acting director. She also established and headed the Referral Laboratory for AIDS in Addis Ababa, served as program manager of Ethiopia's AIDS/STD Prevention and Control Program, and taught immunology to medical students at Addis Ababa University. She received her PhD in immunology from the University of London in 1982.
Zewdie joined the Bank in 1994 as population, health, and nutrition specialistin the department of Population, Health, and Nutrition (PHN) and was promoted to senior PHN specialist in the newly formed Human Development Department. In mid-1997, she moved to the Africa Regional Vice Presidency to become the lead population and reproductive health specialist for the Global HIV/AIDS Coordinator team (AFTH1), serving until June 1999.
From 1999 to 2001, she was the founder and manager of the AIDS Campaign Team for Africa (ACTAfrica, AFRHV) a unit responsible for developing and overseeing the Bank's Multi-Country HIV/AIDS Program (MAP) for Africa with its US$1 billion fund.
In late 2001, Zewdie was selected as adviser for the new Global HIV/AIDS Program, Human Development Network Vice Presidency (HDNVP), which began operations in January 2002 with a mandate to initiate and support the Bank's multi-sectoral response to the epidemic. The key functions of the unit were to: strengthen global learning and knowledge sharing on approaches and best practices to HIV/AIDS; work with partners of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) to monitor and evaluate HIV/AIDS-related activities at the country level, such as the Multi-Country AIDS Programs (MAP); and support the region's operations. She was responsible for providing strategic direction for the program and coordinating resource mobilization efforts of the Bank's HIV/AIDS work with more than US$2 billion committed through grants, loans, and credits to national and regional programs. During this time, Zewdie led the formulation of the World Bank Group's global strategy on HIV/AIDS and the Global HIV/AIDS Program of Action. By 2003, the unit was restructured as the Global HIV/AIDS Program Team (HNDGA) under HDN with three other teams: Education Team (HDNED), Health, Nutrition Population (HDNHE) Team, and Social Protection Team (HDNSP). She was promoted to director in 2004.
In mid-2008, Zewdie was seconded to The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Geneva for one year. Following a brief return to her position as HDNGA director, Zewdie accepted the position of deputy executive director and chief operating officer for The Global Fund in 2010. Zewdie returned to the Bank in 2013 for one year to serve as senior adviser to President Kim's Special Envoy for the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), situated in HDNVP, then the Health, Nutrition, and Population Department Global Practice Director's Office (GHNDR) after the 2014 Bank-wide reorganization.