Dr. William (Billy) Karesh is the Executive Vice President for Health and Policy for EcoHealth Alliance. He serves as the inter-project liaison for the USAID Emerging Pandemic Threats PREDICT-2 program (a $140 Million effort to prevent infectious diseases in 30 countries) and is a member of World Health Organization’s IHR Roster of Experts. Dr. Karesh also serves as the President of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) Working Group on Wildlife. In 2016, he was appointed as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Dr. Karesh has pioneered initiatives focusing attention and resources on solving problems created by the interactions among wildlife, people, and their animals. In 2003, he coined the term “One Health” to describe the interdependence of healthy ecosystems, animals and people and the term has been adopted by many organizations, including the United Nations and the World Bank, in local and global health efforts. Dr. Karesh has created dozens of initiatives to encourage linkages among public health, agriculture and environmental health agencies and organizations around the world. He has personally lead programs and projects in over 45 countries, covering terrain from Argentina to Zambia.
In addition to his work in the private non-profit sector, Dr. Karesh has also worked for the USDA, DOD and DOI. He served as a consultant for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N., and is currently on the Steering Committee of OFFLU (OIE-FAO Network of Expertise for Animal Influenzas). Dr. Karesh is internationally recognized as an authority on the subject of animal and human health linkages and wildlife. He has published over one hundred and eighty scientific papers and numerous book chapters, and written for broader audience publications such as Foreign Affairs.