Global Health in the Age of COVID-19

global health

Global health….why does it matter? Well, since March, 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic began to dominate world affairs, we learned the answer.

Our distinguished panel discusses what’s working, what isn’t, and more importantly, what lessons have been learned to building out global health systems to be more prepared for the next pandemic. And, how have the fights on other infectious diseases (HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria) been affected by COVID-19?

Enjoy this discussion about the State of the COVID-19 World, and a discussion about the importance of infrastructure, preparedness, and political will for combatting the next pandemic.


Podcast Discussion Guide/ Global Health:

  1. What is the state of COVID-19 globally, and what else needs to be done?
  2. What have marginalized populations in low- and middle-income countries faced in a pandemic?
  3. What else needs to be done BEYOND vaccines?
  4. What’s the role of local communities and groups in response to pandemics?
  5. What has worked in the response to COVID-19 so far?
  6. What progress has been made with HIV, TB, and malaria?
  7. …And how has COVID-19 undermined that progress?
  8. What players are stepping up in global response?
  9. Why does global health matter? And why does it matter to American citizens and U.S. foreign policy?
  10. Have we learned any lessons to prepare for future pandemics? What has worked and failed with regards to COVID-19 that we can apply to future efforts?
  11. How can we best advocate for more U.S. support of both financial and political support towards global health?



Mark P. Lagon

Mark Lagon is Chief Policy Officer at Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Mark plays a leadership role in developing and advancing Friends’ policy and advocacy work to support U.S. investment in global health, particularly through the Global Fund. He is also Adjunct Professor at the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, and Senior Fellow at the Trinity Forum.

A respected scholar and practitioner, Mark served under former Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell (leading efforts against human trafficking as Ambassador-At-Large, and for international organizations’ reform) and also with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Republican Policy Committee.

Previously, as President of Freedom House, Mark led the non-profit organization in its work to defend human rights and promote democratic change. From 2010 to 2014, he was Global Politics and Security Chair at Georgetown University’s Master of Science in Foreign Service Program, and served simultaneously as Adjunct Senior Fellow for Human Rights at the Council on Foreign Relations. Earlier, he worked as Executive Director and CEO of Polaris.

Among his numerous studies of global governance and partnerships is the book Human Dignity and the Future of Global Institutions. Mark earned his Ph.D. from Georgetown University and his A.B. from Harvard College, both in Government.


Shannon Kellman

Shannon Kellman is Policy Director at Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. In this capacity, she manages congressional outreach and coalition relationships to advance advocacy on behalf of Friends.

Previously, Shannon was the assistant director of Washington External Affairs at the Council on Foreign Relations. She also worked in Congress as an aide to Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky and to Senator Carl Levin. Shannon also worked as a lobbyist at J Street and as the development and communications associate for Pacific Environment, an environmental non-profit based in San Francisco.

Originally from Evanston, Illinois, Shannon holds a B.A. in Russian and Eastern European studies from the University of Michigan, and an M.Sc. in international relations from the London School of Economics. Shannon is a Council on Foreign Relations Term Member and the global health lead for Foreign Policy for America’s NextGen Initiative. She was a 2017 NextGen Leader with the National Bureau of Asian Research and serves as a co-chair for Women in Government Relations International Relations and Trade Task Force.


Jenny Eaton Dyer

Jenny Dyer is the Founder of The 2030 Collaborative. As such, she currently directs the Faith-Based Coalition for Global Nutrition with support from the Eleanor Crook Foundation and the Faith-Based Coalition for the Global Fund to Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria with support from Friends of the Global Fight.

Dyer teaches Global Health Politics and Policy as a Lecturer in the Department of Health Policy at Vanderbilt School of Medicine, and she has taught Religion and Global Health as a Lecturer at Vanderbilt School of Divinity.

Dyer formerly served as the National Faith Outreach Director for the DATA Foundation and The ONE Campaign, Bono’s organization, from 2003-2008. In this role, she worked with religious leaders, authors, artists, and other faith-based leaders to promote awareness and advocacy for extreme poverty and global AIDS issues.

Dyer has written several academic articles and opinion pieces on the intersection of religion and global health. She has been published in TIME, Forbes.com, Huffington Post, Roll Call, Christianity Today’s Her.meneutics, Patheos, Relevant Magazine, Christian Post, Dallas Morning News, Washington Post, and The Tennessean.

She is a co-compiler of The End of Hunger: Renewed Hope for Feeding the World (2019), The Mother & Child Project: Raising Our Voices for Health and Hope (2015), and The aWAKE Project: Uniting Against the African AIDS Crisis (2002). She is also a contributor Why Save Africa: Answers from around the World (2011)

Dyer holds a B.A. in Religion from Samford University (1999), a Master of Theological Studies from Vanderbilt Divinity School (2001), and a Ph.D. in History and Critical Theories of Religion from Vanderbilt University (2007).

She lives in Franklin, Tennessee with her husband, John, and two boys, Rhys and Oliver.