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David Zakus

David Zakus, BSc, MES, MSc, PhD

Currently Professor of Distinction in Global Health in the Faculty of Community Services, School of Public Health, Ryerson University, having just begun on January 19, 2015. Working at the Faculty level together with its nine professional schools to develop global health programming including curriculum development and delivery, a post-masters diploma in global health, overseas electives for students, research programs, postgraduate programming, publication of the Planetary Health Weekly and other related activities. Current research and development activities include: Ethiopia (MNCH); Niger (community health worker motivation, retention, effectiveness and mHealth); Ghana (music and other arts for health promotion); Zambia (public health field school); Kenya (NCD control and eHealth); Uganda (radio programs for health promotion/family planning); China (health system reform, primary care and aging); Nepal (masters of public health development); and Cambodia (NGO collaboration in HIV and alcohol control).

From July 2011 to January 2015, David Zakus was Professor in the Division of Preventive Medicine, Department of Medicine, and Director of Global Health in the Division of Community Engagement in the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Alberta. In these positions he carried out a broad portfolio of international program and global health development, implementation, support and research in Africa, Asia and Latin America including: overseas electives for medical students and residents; directorship of a major $6.1m MNCH project in Ethiopia; research and development in Niger, Kenya, Ethiopia, Zambia, Uganda, Nepal, Cambodia, Mexico, Brazil and Ecuador; and also various on-campus programs related to global health including teaching and student supervision, the Biomedical Global Health Research Network, weekly Global Health Rounds, the Global Health Fair and Film Series, and publishing the Global Health Weekly.

He also holds various appointments at the University of Toronto and three universities in China (Beijing, Shanghai and Kunming).

Previous to his current position he worked briefly at the Canadian Public Health Association (2010-11) and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) in Ottawa (2009-10).

From 2000-2009, he was the founding Director of the Centre for International Health and Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine and Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto.

Prior to this he was the director of a WHO Collaborating Centre for International Nursing Development, Director of Global Health at Mount Sinai Hospital (Toronto), IFI Projects Director at InterHealth Canada, President and CEO of Canadian Physicians for Aid and Relief (CPAR/NGO), a professor at McGill University and Addis Ababa University, lecturer at York University (Toronto) and lab instructor at University of Saskatchewan, Senior Technical Safety Supervisor at Ontario Hydro, Director of La Alegria Rural Development Project (Honduras), and a consultant for many years with assignments in Canada and around the world.

He has extensive knowledge and experience with academia, non-governmental organizations and multilateral institutions, having occupied senior roles within each. He has worked in some 40+ countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, sub-Saharan Africa, East and SE Asia and Eastern Europe, both as an academic and as a public health and health services consultant and professional; and has traveled in some 60 other countries.

His teaching and research focus is on international and global health, primary health care, human resource and health systems development, management and reform, community-based health services, community participation, eHealth solutions and environmental sustainability.

Dr. Zakus was born in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, earned a BSc in biochemistry at the University of Saskatchewan (1975), a Master’s degree in Environmental Studies (MES) at York University, Toronto (1978), and an MSc (1987) and PhD (1992) in community health/health services management from the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto. In 2010 he was awarded as an Alumni of Influence from the University of Saskatchewan; and enjoys riding his bicycle, cross country skiing, reading, learning and travelling.

ENH 617 – Applied Ecology
ENH 809 – Seminars

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