Dr. Joan Benson leads Merck’s strategic engagement with global public health organizations involved in vaccine policies, immunization programs and funding for vaccines internationally, including WHO, Gavi, UNICEF and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She is responsible for establishing and leading key strategic partnerships and programs to address vaccine preventable diseases globally, including in resource limited countries. She has been involved in the development and execution of several partnerships, including numerous HPV and rotavirus vaccination programs with developing country governments and the Merck/Gates Botswana partnerships on HIV/AIDS. A key passion is her tireless effort to advance dialogue and collaborations with diverse partners to tackle cervical cancer and its eventual elimination in developing and emerging countries.
Through partnership with Susan G. Komen for the Cure, she led Merck’s participation in the Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon – an initiative to address cervical and breast cancer in sub-Saharan Africa, launched by the George W. Bush Institute, the United States Government through the U.S. Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Susan G. Komen®, and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). Dr. Benson served as a public health physician at the Stamford Health Department, and the Southend Medical Center in Stamford, Connecticut, and also was a practicing physician in Nigeria.