Mukesh Kapila

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My associations

  • University of Manchester

    Since April 2012

    Professor of Global Health and Humanitarian Affairs at the University of Manchester

  • Aegis Trust

    Since February 2012

    Special Representative of the Aegis Trust for the Prevention of Crimes against Humanity

  • Minority Rights Group International

    Since 2011

    Chair of the Council of Management of Minority Rights Group International

  • Centre for International Governance Innovation

    Co-director of the project on future development paradigm and goals

  • The Fletcher School , Tufts University.

    Member of the external advisory team on Resilience: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Science and Humanitarinism

  • Dubai International Humanitarian Aid & Development Conference & Exhibition (DIHAD)

    Since 2009

    Member of the DIHAD International Scientific Advisory Body

  • International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

    September 2006- January 2012

    Finishing as Under Secretary General for National Society and Knowledge Development (2010 - 2012). Previously various full and part-time roles over time including as Special Adviser to the Secretary General, Special Representative of the Secretary General, and Director Policy and Planning Division.


    Handled a wide range of policy and strategy matters, including in relation to the Governing Board. Contributed to the formulation and successful adoption of the corporate Strategy 2020, and new thinking in areas such as climate change, and conflict and peace. International representation and partnership-building. Development of new initiatives in planning, reporting and performance rating, global accredited learning, and use of information technology to connect, collaborate, and share knowledge. Familiarity at leadership and senior management level across the 187-strong global Red Cross Red Crescent network of National Societies with experience of programming, services and capacity building needs in all regions. Conceptualisation of approaches to organisational development and the management of change.


    Previous functions in the IFRC have included membership of the senior management team, and leadership and direction of worldwide "global alliances" of the Red Cross Red Crescent such as HIV and disaster risk reduction where successful scale-up has been achieved. As Director of Policy and Planning Division oversight and line management of 5 departments in Geneva: Departments of Health and Care; Disaster Policy and Preparedness; Principles and Values; Organisational Development; Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation, and Reporting and their out-posted staff in ten regional offices worldwide.

  • Foundation for Genomics and Population Health

    September 2009 - August 2010 (part time)

    My role as Chief Executive Officer, reporting to the Board of Trustees has been to manage the staff and budget, lead the future strategic development of the Foundation, initiate key international partnerships for example, with Cambridge University, World Health Organisation, and the Clinton Global Initiative, with an emphasis on building developing country capacities in science for evidence-based public policy development. Pioneered a novel concept in resource mobilisation through a "corporate social bond" investment product for philanthropic and general public contributors.

  • Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, World Bank Group

    January 2008 - July 2009 (part-time)

    Policy Advisor providing advice on policy and strategy in relation to disaster reduction and recovery. Designed new global programme on South South Co-operation, a new corporate "Global Strategy 2015+"; and a new global facility for accelerated post disaster recovery.

  • World Health Organization

    May 2004 - September 2006

    Director in the Department of Health Action in Crises, and subsequently as Adviser to the Director General, Internal Oversight Services. Responsible for emergency response and operations and policies, strategies, and partnerships for health action in crises for WHO. Chair of the IASC Health Cluster. Also oversight of thematic programmes such as on women's' health and sexual and gender violence in humanitarian situations, and natural disaster preparedness and reduction. Field experience of dealing with major emergencies include the Indian Ocean Tsunami Responsible for pulling together an inter-agency consortium for a major new work programme on scaling-up HIV services for populations of humanitarian concern. From May - Sept 2006, adviser to the Director General on programme performance, evaluation and accountability issues.

  • United Nations

    February 2003 - April 2004

    UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, and Designated Official for Security, UNDP Resident Representative, OCHA Representative, & Director of UN Information Centre.


    Overall head of the United Nations system in the Sudan, with oversight of the largest (at the time) UN programme in the world: about US$380 million and approx.1000 staff, with offices in Khartoum, Nairobi, and several in-country locations. UN programmes included major humanitarian assistance, conflict and disaster prevention and mitigation, recovery, rehabilitation, human rights, and capacity building. In-country representation on behalf of the UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan.

  • United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

    December 2002 - February 2003

    Special Adviser to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the late Mr Sergio Vieira De Mello, in Geneva. Dealing with country-based operations of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Review of human rights protection and promotion programmes in Burundi, Cambodia, and several other countries. My recommendations for reform were accepted ultimately by the UN General Assembly and largely implemented.

  • United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan

    May - November 2002

    Special Adviser to the Special Representative of the Secretary General, Mr Lakhdar Brahimi Dealing with the resourcing of UNAMA's mission in peace-support, humanitarian relief, rehabilitation, and reconstruction. Facilitation of links with donor governments. Successfully helped to mobilise some US$1.5 BILLION for the initial phase of Afghan recovery after the removal of the Taliban and following the Bonn Agreement. Special assistance on security sector reform, drugs action and related issues.

  • Department for International Development, U.K. Government

    January 1998 - April 2002

    Head of Conflict & Humanitarian Affairs Department, UK Govt. Department for International Development

    Direct management of some US$300 million annual expenditure and 100-strong team. Policy support to Ministers and high-level representation of British Government in international fora including boards of multilateral agencies. Handling policy and programmes on crisis management, humanitarian assistance and post-crisis recovery/reconstruction, conflict prevention, peacekeeping, and peace building. Field and management experience dealing with a range of complex situations e.g. Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo, and other parts of the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda and Great Lakes, Indonesia and East Timor, Iraq, Angola, Sudan, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Sri Lanka, North Korea, Central Asian republics, Latin America. Official travel to more than 70 countries.

  • Overseas Development Administration, U.K. Government

    1994 - 97

    Head of Conflict Prevention & Humanitarian Policy Section and Senior Humanitarian Adviser in Emergency Aid Department of DFID (previously Overseas Development Administration - ODA)

  • Overseas Development Administration, U.K. Government

    1990 - 1994

    Senior Health and Population Adviser to the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office's Overseas Development Administration designing and supervising the delivery of health and development assistance programmes in South Asia, Caribbean, Southern Africa, Central and South America; resident (1993-94) in Central/Southern Africa in ODA's Regional Office. This included developing major new programmes in Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

  • Department of Health, U.K. Government

    1987 - 1990

    Deputy Director, National UK AIDS Programme at the Department of Health's Health Education Authority. Responsible for design, start-up, and management of the first HIV nationwide programme in the UK. Concurrently Adviser to the World Health Organisation's Global Programme on AIDS, directly contributing to the planning of the first generation of HIV Prevention and Control Programmes in India, Indonesia and China, and advising on programmes in Africa and Eastern Europe. Member of the International Working Group that reviewed the future of GPA - leading ultimately to the formation of UNAIDS.

  • Cambridge Health Authority, U.K.

    1984 - 1987

    Public Health Specialist (training grades) at Cambridge Health Authority, UK covering district health planning, management, and reorganisation of services, monitoring quality of health service delivery in hospitals and primary care, public health surveillance, communicable disease control and epidemiological investigations.

  • National Health Service, U.K

    1980 - 1984

    Physician (training grades) in UK National Health Service (in High Wycombe and Cambridge, UK) with posts in hospitals (medicine, surgery, paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology) and in primary health care.

Mukesh Kapila

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Mukesh Kapila

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Against a Tide of Evil is published by Mainstream Publishing. ISBN 9781780576329

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