Dr Kapila is a senior public and global health specialist. He has medical and postgraduate qualifications in medicine and public health from the Universities of Oxford and London.
He is chief executive of The Defeat-NCD Partnership. He has extensive experience in the policy and practice of international development, global health, diplomacy, disaster and conflict management, human rights and humanitarian affairs. Dr Kapila also holds the position of Professor of Global Health and Humanitarian Affairs, University of Manchester.
Previously, he was undersecretary general at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). Earlier in his career, Dr Kapila served the United Nations in different roles as special adviser at the UN Mission in Afghanistan, and then special adviser to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva. He also had a spell at the World Bank. Subsequently, he led the UN’s largest country mission in 2003-4 as the United Nations resident and humanitarian coordinator for the Sudan, before becoming a director at the World Health Organization in Geneva.
Prior to working at the UN, Dr Kapila was at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Overseas Development Administration (subsequently Department for International Development), initially as a senior health and population adviser and later as the first head of a new Conflict and Humanitarian Affairs Department that he set up.
His earliest career was in clinical medicine, primary health care, and public health in the British National Health Service in Oxford, Cambridge, and London, where he helped set up the UK’s first national HIV and AIDS programme at the Health Education Authority, becoming its deputy director.
Other roles have included Chair of Minority Rights Group International, Chair of Nonviolent Peaceforce and Special Adviser to the 2016 UN World Humanitarian Summit. Awards and honours include a CBE from Queen Elizabeth II, the Global Citizenship Award of the Institute for Global Leadership, the “I Witness!” award for human rights, and a special resolution of the California State Legislature for “lifetime achievements and meritorious service”. His memoir “Against a Tide of Evil” was nominated for the CWA’s 2013 “Best Non-Fiction Book”. His next book is provisionally entitled “The Kindness of Strangers”.
Dr Kapila is based in Geneva.