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Obijiofor Aginam

Principal Visiting Fellow & Former Deputy Director, International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH), United Nations University

Dr. Obijiofor Aginam is former Deputy Director and Head of Governance for Global Health in the United Nations University-International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and concurrently Adjunct Research Professor of Law at Carleton University, Ottawa, and Visiting Professor in the IR3S, University of Tokyo. His expertise cuts across global health governance, globalization of public health, impacts of global/regional trade agreements on health, health and human rights, public-private partnerships, food safety, South-South cooperation, and the regulatory/normative authorities of inter-governmental health organizations. Prior to joining the UNU-IIGH, Dr. Aginam served as Senior Academic Officer and Head of International Cooperation and Development section in the United Nations University-Institute for Sustainability and Peace, UNU headquarters, Tokyo. Dr. Aginam was a tenured Associate Professor of Law and Legal Studies at Carleton University. As Global Health Leadership Officer at the WHO headquarters in Geneva, he worked on the revision of International Health Regulations (IHR 2005), and the inter-governmental negotiations for WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC).
Dr Aginam has been a recipient of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) of New York Fellowship on “Global Security and Cooperation”, the U.K. 21st Century Trust Fellowship on “Disease and Security”, the WHO Global Health Leadership Fellowship, and the competitive research grant of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada. He has been a Visiting Professor at the UN-mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica, and universities in Italy, South Africa, Japan, and Nigeria. Dr. Aginam has authored numerous publications including the following books: Global Health Governance: International Law and Public Health in a Divided World (2005); Humanizing Our Global Order: Essays in Honor of Ivan Head (2003); HIV/AIDS and the Security Sector in Africa (2012); The Global Governance of HIV/AIDS: Intellectual Property and Access to Essential Medicines (2013); Foreign Direct Investment in Post-conflict Societies (2010). He served as co-director of the 2009 summer workshop of the Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS) on “Global Public-Private Partnerships”.
He has worked with African civil society organizations on aspects of global health and environmental governance, health and trade, human rights, and sustainable development. He has served on the expert advisory panels of WHO and FAO on aspects of trade, globalization, food safety and public health involving missions to Bangladesh and Lao People’s Democratic Republic. He represents the United Nations University on the UN Inter-agency Taskforce on the Prevention and Control of Non-communicable Diseases. Dr. Aginam serves on the editorial boards of many journals including Global Health Governance: The Scholarly Journal for the New Health Security Paradigm. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia, Canada.


  • –present
    Director Ad-Interim/Officer-in-Charge & Head of Governance for Global Health, International Institute for Global Health, United Nations University