New year, new challenges- A note from Raquel Peck

11 Dec 2018

In a cold December day much like this one, I walked into Geneva’s ‘Registre du Commerce’ to help set up the World Hepatitis Alliance (WHA). Eleven years on, it is filled with mixed emotions that I write this note to say I will be stepping down as CEO in a few weeks’ time.  

This was certainly not an easy decision to take but I was offered an exceptional opportunity which I felt I couldn’t decline: to support the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) with their ambitious goal to strengthen the science and technology that will make it possible to cure, prevent, or manage all diseases by the end of this century. I will be working for CZI as an independent consultant.  

That said, even though I’m embarking on a new career path, I will still be supporting WHA - albeit in a consultancy capacity - and championing the viral hepatitis cause. As many of you know, I hold a big grudge against these viruses; one took my grandmother away and I had my fair share of battles against the other one (including a brutal 12 month round of interferon and ribavirin treatment) so I very much want to see a world where they are no longer a problem. 

Furthermore, I must say I am incredibly proud of what was achieved. Together with our growing membership, we pioneered the fight through advocacy, awareness raising and capacity building activities, spearheading World Hepatitis Day, convening global summits, supporting WHO, creating a global movement, and now elimination of this epidemic is on the cards. It is fair to say we, people living with viral hepatitis, made a profound impact on global health, changing the course of hepatitis history and putting the disease on the map. I am honoured to have been part of this journey.  

Although we have come a long way, the next years will see WHA take on a new phase of advocacy and I’m sure the new CEO (currently being headhunted by top UK recruiters) will, together with our strong and dedicated team in London and our global board, guide the organisation through it. 

I’m looking forward to this next chapter and to seeing WHA prosper in its elimination vision. 

Wishing you all a great holiday season, 

 

Raquel  

Ps: The official announcement of my departure can be found here