José Luis Castro was appointed Executive Director of the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease on 29 April 2014. He had served The Union as Interim Executive Director since June 2013, during which time he strengthened the organisation’s financial base, internal and external communications operations, and human resources function. He is also the President and Chief Executive Officer of Vital Strategies, a Union affiliate based in the New York City, which unites The Union North America and World Lung Foundation.
Under Mr. Castro’s leadership and vision, The Union has expanded its global portfolio of projects and forged new strategic partnerships, including with the Global Fund, USAID, DFID, and Bloomberg Philanthropies. In addition to establishing the renowned International Management Development Program (IMDP), which has trained more than 4,000 managers from 30 countries, Mr. Castro has strengthened the organisation’s programmatic and operational functions. In 2014, Mr. Castro co-founded the Global TB Caucus, an international network of over 2,300 parliamentarians from more than 132 countries, with the Rt. Hon. Nick Herbert MP, of the UK, to accelerate progress against the tuberculosis epidemic. This revolutionary initiative remains one of the world’s largest political networks dedicated to advancing a global health priority.
As Director of Finance and Development, he helped grow the budget from US $4 million to $72 million annually. In addition, he has been instrumental in the success of key projects such as the Bloomberg Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use. He pushed The Union to the forefront by designing an effective international grants management infrastructure that made possible that rapid implementation of the FIDELIS and Bloomberg Initiative grants programmes in almost 100 countries.
Before joining The Union, Mr Castro advised WHO and the Government of India on the implementation of the Revised National TB Control Programme and served as Director of Operations for New York City’s Bureau of TB Control during the 1990s MDR-TB crisis. The programme he helped build is still used for tuberculosis control in New York City. He holds a Masters of Public Administration degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
In 2004, Mr Castro established the World Lung Foundation (now part of Vital Strategies). He serves on several boards, including the editorial board of the Journal of Health Management and is Vice President for Finance and Internal Control on the board of the International Union for Health Promotion and Education.
He is also the chair of the NCD Alliance steering group and is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and American Society for Training and Development. In recognition of his achievements, he was awarded an honorary doctorate in 2005 from Pace University.