Simon Bland, Director, New York Liaison Office, UNAIDS

Simon Bland leads the UNAIDS New York Liaison Office to help accelerate progress to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and the targets of the 2011 United Nations General Assembly Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS. He is also helping to develop a strong post-2015 approach that strengthens the synergies between the AIDS response and broader health, development and security that ensures no one is left behind and that we achieve an AIDS-free generation.

Before joining UNAIDS Mr Bland was a senior civil servant in the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) and, most recently, headed their Global Funds Department. He was responsible for the United Kingdom’s policies, programmes, financial management and shareholder relations with Global Funds and Innovative Finance in health and education. He represented the United Kingdom on the Boards of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund), the GAVI Alliance, UNITAID and the Global Partnership for Education.

From September 2011 to June 2013, Mr Bland was Chair of the Board of the Global Fund and oversaw a substantial transformation culminating with the introduction of its new funding model and strengthened partnership approach.

Mr Bland’s early background was in marine sciences and natural resources management, later moving into development economics and management. He has spent most of the last 30 years working in developing countries in Africa, Asia and the Pacific. He has led DFID country programmes in Russia, Ukraine, Kenya and Somalia before moving to Geneva to work on global health, education and humanitarian affairs.

In 2013, Mr Bland was made a Commander of the British Empire in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for service to Global Health.