Suraya Dalil

Director, Special Programme on Primary Health Care
World Health Organization
About
Dr. Suraya Dalil is a senior advisor focused on multilateral diplomacy to Afghanistan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and a member of the Afghanistan Lead Council for Peace that spearheads negotiations with the Taliban in an effort to end the long-term conflict the country has endured. Prior to her current duties, Dr. Dalil served as the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the UN Office and other International Organizations in Geneva from October 2015 to March 2019.

Throughout her diplomatic career, Dr. Dalil has held leadership roles in a number of governing bodies, namely the Vice-Chair and Chair of the Executive Committee of UNHCR in 2017 and 2018 respectively, and the Presidency of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention in 2018.

Prior to her position in Geneva, Dr. Dalil was the Minister of Public Health from March 2012 to December 2014 and Acting Minister of Public Health from January 2010 to February 2012. In those capacities, she led complex political and operational efforts to reform health systems throughout the country by ensuring equitable health care with improved quality and access. Among Dr. Dalil’s achievements as Minister of Public Health are a significant reduction in maternal and child mortality, innovative public-private partnership, and result-based financing unprecedented in Afghanistan. Dr. Dalil was the elected representative for developing countries to the Gavi governing board from 2012 to 2014 to steer global and regional commitments on health policy regarding immunization.

A physician by training, Dr. Dalil’s multifaceted background has equipped her with a thorough understanding of international operations. She has worked with UNICEF in Somalia and Afghanistan, following an early career with Medecins Sans Frontiers working with Tajik refugees and later with the International Organization for Migration working to establish and maintain a safe transit program for returnees to Afghanistan.

Dr. Dalil holds a Master’s degree in public health from Harvard University, where she has been a visiting university fellow in recent years.