Ilona Kickbusch


"Positive management, for example the continued valuable contribution to the work force by the older generation, paired with pro-active measures, for example health promotion and disease management, can start to transform what some see as a looming crisis into a social revolution."

Global Health @ Germany

In 2016 Ilona Kickbusch was awarded the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (Bundesverdienstkreuz) in recognition of her invaluable contributions to innovation in governance for global health and global health diplomacy. Here is a short overview of some of her contributions to German global health development:

German Global Health Strategy
Ilona Kickbusch contributed to the development of the first German Federal Government’s Strategy Paper on: Shaping Global Health Taking Joint Action Embracing Responsibility through a background document. She also contributed to the Leopoldina (the German National Academy of Sciences) report on Public Health in Germany especially in relation to global health.

She was appointed in 2018 to chair the international advisory board on Global Health Policy by the German Minister of Health,

The advisory board presented its recommendations in summer 2019 in German and English: here. The new Strategy was adopted by the German cabinet in 2020

Ilona Kickbusch has been involved in both the G7 (2015) and the G20 (2017) German presidencies in relation to global health matters. She co-chaired the Health Crisis simulation at the G20 health ministers meeting 2017 together with David Heymann from Chatham House. She also moderated the G7(2022) German presidency interactive health ministerial discussion on pandemic preparedness in Berlin together with Johanna Hanefeld from the Robert Koch Institute.

She was co-chair of the Global Health Taskforce of the T7 Initiative. The policy papers and recommendations can be accessed here.

Chair of the Council of the World Health Summit
The World Health Summit (WHS) takes place annually in the German capital Berlin and enjoys the high patronage of the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, the President of the French Republic and the Director General of the World Health Organization.
It has become one of the most important summits on global health.

Virchow Prize
Ilona Kickbusch was one of the initiators of the Virchow Prize and serves on the nominations committee. The Virchow Prize for Global Health honors significant contributions towards strengthening global health through lifetime achievements and long-standing engagement and is awarded annually in Berlin.

Other activities:
She serves on several advisory boards – at present also on the scientific advisory board for the recently established ZIG at the Robert Koch Institute - and is frequently invited to contribute to global health events in Germany. She has published on Germany's new global health role.

She is one of founders of Women in Global Health Germany

Ilona Kickbusch ist seit 2017 Mitglied im Beirat der German Health Alliance (bis Juni 2019 German Healthcare Partnership)