Michelle Gayer

Dr Michelle Gayer is the Director of Emergency Health at the International Rescue Committee (IRC). She is a medical doctor with post graduate education in public health, economics, and management.

Her career over the last 20 years started in Australia as a clinician, followed by working for MSF (Doctors Without Borders) and WHO (World Health Organization), at both country and global levels, and has evolved from technical to managerial and policy roles, has been devoted to ensuring evidence-based health interventions for populations in conflict and disaster settings.

With MSF she worked in various conflict-affected countries in Sub-Saharan Africa over 1999-2002, including as Country Director. Her several roles with WHO from 2003-2016 included coordinating WHO’s Disease Control in Emergencies Program, Director of Emergency Risk Management and Humanitarian  Response, and Director of WHO Emergency Reform. Michelle joined the IRC in June 2016 to lead its global program of work in Public Health in Emergencies, including Reproductive Health, WASH & Nutrition.

Michelle has published numerous international standards & guidelines on infectious disease control in emergencies, built capacity of government and international agencies, and provided direct field assistance for risk assessment, disease surveillance, outbreak preparedness and response, and public health interventions in numerous conflict and disaster settings. She has also served on bodies such as WHO’s Ethics Review Committee, ELHRA’s Research for Health in Humanitarian Crises (R2HC) Funding Committee and as Associate Professor, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of New South Wales, Australia.


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