News

Alumnus José Luis Castro (Fels ’90) to Lead Global Health NGO

September 22, 2015

José Luis Castro (Fels ’90) has been named chairperson of the Steering Group of the Non Communicable Disease (NCD) Alliance, an international non-governmental organization that seeks to combat the spread of non-communicable diseases through global policy solutions. Mr. Castro will serve as chair of the governing board while maintaining his current role as executive director of the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease ("The Union").

As chairperson of the NCD Alliance, Castro will assume leadership of an organization with a network of more than 2,000 civic groups consisting of doctors, researchers, and health professionals in more than 170 countries worldwide. Castro brings 25 years of public health experience to the steering committee. 

“The practice-based curriculum of Fels equipped me with the right skills to work effectively in complex organizations, governmental and non-governmental,” said Castro.  “The intense program of study and faculty mentoring taught me how to understand international relations, how to get things done, and how to communicate effectively.”

Castro has big plans to bring those skills to bear on the challenges facing the NCD Alliance – and for good reason. 

“The biggest challenge in combatting the spread of NCDs is to integrate NCDs as a priority in national health and developing planning and to mobilize adequate and sustainable human and financial resources,” said Castro. “Today, NCDs are regarded as the most significant health challenge globally. They are the world’s foremost killers—accounting for 60% of human mortality annually (35 million people).  Most of these deaths occur in poor and middle-income countries, which also bear 80% of the global NCD burden.”

That’s a daunting challenge; Castro is up to the task. 

Castro has worked with The Union for 14 years and demonstrated impressive skill in meeting global public health challenges. Currently serving as The Union's executive director, Castro has also held a number of other leadership roles within the organization. As Director of Finance and Development, he helped grow the annual budget from $4 million to $72 million. Soon after joining in 2001, he launched its International Management Development Programme (IMDP) to provide training in management, budgeting, and healthcare logistics. Since then and under Castro’s leadership, the IMDP has trained more than 4,000 managers from 30 countries, strengthening 150 non-governmental organizations and 28 ministries of health. 

Before joining The Union, Castro advised the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Government of India on implementing the Revised National TB Control Program. He has also served as Director of Operations for New York City's Bureau of TB Control. He established the World Lung Foundation in New York in 2004.

In addition to these roles, Castro serves on several boards, including the editorial board of the Journal of Health Management. He is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Society for Training and Development. He holds an honorary doctorate from Pace University.

Castro’s installation ceremony with the NCD Alliance will take place at the Penn Club of New York on September 24 and will be attended by health leaders and dignitaries from all over the world. 

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Contact Information

Fels Institute of Government
University of Pennsylvania
3814 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Phone: (215) 898-2600
Fax: (215) 746-2829

felsinstitute@sas.upenn.edu