Article 9: The Board is composed of the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and not more than 11 other members. A Board member will serve for a two year term. Re-election is possible. The Board may coopt a member of the Alliance to the Board should a vacancy occur before the next Annual General Meeting. The Board is authorized to carry out all acts that further the purposes of the Association. It implements the decisions made by the AGM and is authorized to manage the Alliance’s business.

Alliance for Health Promotion Statutes

Board members

President — Bernard Kadasia

Bernard Kadasia has been an active member of the Alliance for Health Promotion since 2004. Mr. Kadasia became its President in 2012. Until March 2015 Mr. Kadasia was employed by the International AIDS Society (IAS) Geneva as Deputy Executive Director and Director of Policy and Advocacy, Research Promotion and Communications.

A senior level professional who brings together close to thirty-five years of experience in technical, managerial and leadership positions in government, civil society, private sector, and international non-governmental organizations. Immediately prior to joining the IAS, he worked for 17 years for the International Co-operative Alliance as Director of the Regional Office for East, Central and Southern Africa, in Moshi, Tanzania and in Nairobi, Kenya. He is currently based in Kitale, Kenya working as an independent consultant in development and health.

Vice-President — Joanna Koch

Joanna Koch was born and brought up in the United Kingdom, Mrs. Koch has been a resident of Switzerland since 1960 and holds dual nationality.

She has been an NGO Representative at the Geneva UN since 1987.  She first represented La Leche League International, and was involved with the launch of the WHO/UNICEF worldwide Baby Friendly Hospital Campaign as a breastfeeding adviser. As the Convenor of the  NGO Working Group on Nutrition, she  was responsible for coordinating NGO input and activities at the FAO / WHO International Conference on Nutrition, in 1992.  Since 1993 she has been the UN Representative for Associated Country Women of the World (ACWW), the only worldwide organisation active in 79  countries looking after farming and rural women.  At the 1997 Bangkok Global Health Promotion Conference, she was one of the five founding members of the Alliance for Health Promotion and  in 2015 became its first Vice President.

Treasurer — Luc Besançon

Luc Besançon is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) which is the global federation gathering 137 national associations of pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists. Luc completed his Doctorat d’État en Pharmacie (PharmD) in 2004 further to an education in France (Université de Bourgogne) and Canada (Université Laval). He also completed a Master’s Degree in Communication (major in European Public Relations) at Paris V – La Sorbonne in 2003.

He moved in the Netherlands in 2008 to join FIP as a lead in Professional and Scientific Affairs. Prior to that, he had worked for five years as a professional adviser for international affairs and for pharmacists’ competence at the Ordre national des pharmaciens, the French body in charge of the regulation of pharmacists.

Coordinator — Gabriella Sozanski

Gabriella Sozanski has been a Board member and Coordinator of the Alliance for Health Promotion on a voluntary basis since 2008.

She has considerable experience at senior management level in national and international NGOs working for the National Council of Agricultural Co-operatives in Hungary before joining the World Council of Credit Unions’ European Office in Geneva. Later, at the International Co-operative Alliance, she was Regional Director for Europe and representative in the NGO Liaison Committee of the Council of Europe, Strasbourg.

She has over 30 years of experience in international development particularly as regards building partnerships, mobilizing for action, networking, advocacy, project development, resource mobilization, and organizing meetings and conferences has sharpened her ability to link the global to the local and to work with people, governments, civil society and international organisations alike. As an elected member of the Municipality she participates in policy-making at community level.

Elizabeth Cherian Paramesh

CEO of Lakeside medical Center for Health Promotion and the Director of Lakeside Education trust and HP foundation based in Bangalore. She is involved in research and service areas of children’s health and environment, youth leadership, education and geriatric health care issues. Interested in changing lives for the better and providing optimum health care to rural areas and promoting education for the underprivileged has resulted in the creation of schools and programmes that promote health. the formation of the Lakeside Center for health promotion has as its objective the introduction of the concept of health promotion to the general public and creation of awareness for the need to promote health. Also the secretary of the Rotary club of Bangalore, she has been involved in service projects like free health service camps and blood donation camps and also free education and provision of toilets for villages and several public health initiatives. Published several papers for national and international journals and chapters for medical textbooks. She is the recipient of several awards for the contribution to society and is the recipient of the highest award of state for her contribution to social services and education. The Lakeside education Trust had been conducting continuing medical education programs for the past thirty years. They have also conducted several international workshops and research programmes on health and environment. Several civic initiatives and concerns have also been addressed through their organisation.

Sirona Centre for Health Promotion

Hussein Elsangak

Dr. Hussein Elsangak graduated from Alazhar University Medical School in Cairo, Egypt 1982. He practiced medicine as a General Practitioner (Internist) for four years in Cairo and concluded his military service as an intern in Almaza Military hospital for infectious and tropical disease for one year.

He enrolled at Life University in October 1986 and graduated in June 1989 with a Doctor of Chiropractic degree. He then joined the Anglo European College of Chiropractic in England as a clinic faculty in October 1993, supervising the interns at their final stage of education and providing chiropractic spinal health care. While in England, he attained the certification of Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician (CCSP).

Dr. Elsangak returned to Life University in October 1995, and has held the position of Department Head of Clinical Proficiency, Division Chair of Clinical Sciences, and Assistant to the Dean for Program Development. Currently, Dr. Elsangak is full-time faculty in the Clinical Sciences Division.

Jean-Pierre Girard


Jean-Pierre Girard has been an active member of the Alliance for Health Promotion since 2014. He represented Health Nexus, a Toronto base NGO getting involve in health promotion especially in Ontario but also elsewhere in Canada. Being an international consultant in Co-op and NPO, he realized many mandates including for UN, International Association of Mutual, MSF Switzerland, International Summit of Cooperative, by delivering speeches, leading research and surveys, organizing technical workshops, all these tasks have been realized with several stake holders. Since 1989, he also teaches co-op and NPO management and development course in various French-speaking universities including  Université internationale de langue française, Université Senghor located in Alexandria, Egypt. Since 2016, he is a director of collection, Cooperation, mutuality and social economy at Fides, a Quebec publishing house. He is currently based in Montréal, Canada and teach in a Graduates programs on management of social economy enterprises at École des sciences de la gestion, Université du Québec à Montréal.

Sonia Heptonstall

Born in the United Kingdom permanently resident in Switzerland was raised in a family of educators. Schooled with the children of World War II refugees in the south of England which led to a lifelong interest and concern for history, current affairs and sociology; particularly the need for community participation and enhancing the role of women. Currently, Professor of International Relations at the Geneva Business School, Geneva Campus. Resident in Geneva and appointed a main representative at the Palais des Nations for UN ECOSOC NGOs supporting civil society with gender equality, global development and better community health outcomes. Currently Board member Alliance for Health Promotion on behalf of Solar Cookers International (SCI) and working on the cross-cutting issues associated with sustainable development such as solar technology. These need to be better integrated in government policymaking. 

Myrna Lachenal

Myrna Lachenal-Merritt was born in the Philippines, she studied to be a nurse in the Philippines and in Switzerland. She holds three masters degrees in nursing, education as well as in science, technology and society. She was a nurse in many different fields including, but not limited to, surgery, ob-gynaecology, clinical research, psychiatry, paediatrics and elderly care in the Philippines, Laos and Switzerland. She is a Swiss national and has lived in Geneva for many years. She is the representative of the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH) to the United Nations in Geneva, she is also one of the founding members of the Alliance for Health Promotion (A4HP) and one of its board members. She is deeply committed to the idea that Health Promotion processes are also processes of self-actualization, that harmony is the key to health and happiness in life and is there for each and everyone.

Berhane Ras-Work (Asfaw Hailemariam)

International Human Rights Activist, Educator Founder, President (1984 – 2006) and Executive Director (2005 – 2010), Inter-African Committee on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children (IAC); Program Coordinator, Ethiopian Women’s Welfare Association, 1966 – 1970; 1966 for a short period assisted the Director W/ Sendu Gebru to set up the Ethiopian Rehabilitation Centre for the Disabled , Teacher, Haile Selassie I Secondary School, 1962 – 1966

She is a representative of UFER : International Movement for Fraternel Union among Races and Peoples

Grand Decoration of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria, 2010; United Nations Population Award, 1995.

Organisations

International Federation of Medical Students’ Association, IFMSA

The International Federation of Medical Students’ Association (IFMSA) is a non-political and non-profit organization recognized as one of the oldest and largest student-run organization in the world.

IFMSA was established in 1951 after the end of World War II to serve as a platform for unity, collaboration and peace among medical students. IFMSA has a broad representation of 130 National Member Organizations (NMOs) from 122 countries across the continents and working in close relation with several non-governmental organizations from all over the world. IFMSA is recognized by the United Nations (UN) and by the World Health Organization (WHO).

International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation, IPSF

International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation (IPSF) is the leading international advocacy organisation for pharmacy students, promoting improved public health through provision of information, education, networking and a range of publications and professional initiatives. IPSF represents over 350,000 pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences students in more than 84 countries worldwide, we are honoured to be part of the Alliance and will advocate, preform and deliver to achieve our commonly shared objectives.