José Luis Castro
Executive Director, The Union
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.
With 25 years’ experience in public health management, including 15 with The Union, Mr Castro has played a leadership role in building today's multi-office network of experts and programmes serving more than 100 countries and an annual budget of US $120 million. After joining the staff of The Union in 2001, Mr Castro quickly established himself as a leader in the international effort to improve tuberculosis control programmes by launching the International Management Development Programme (IMDP) to provide training in management, budgeting and logistics competencies. Since its inception, the IMDP has trained more than 4,000 managers from 30 countries, strengthening 150 NGOs and 28 ministries of health.
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 also serves on several boards, including the editorial board of the Journal of Health Management, and he is the chair of the NCD Alliance steering group. He is also 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.