Dr Naoko Yamamoto is WHO’s Assistant Director-General for Universal Health Coverage - Healthier Populations. Previously, she also held the role of WHO’s Assistant Director-General for Universal Health Coverage and Health Systems.
Dr Yamamoto brings nearly 30 years of experience working on health. She served as Senior Assistant Minister for Global Heath in Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. In this capacity, she was heavily involved in Japan’s global health leadership, including hosting and organizing the International Conference on Universal Health Coverage in 2015 and supporting the compilation of the G7 Ise-Shima Vision for Global Health and Kobe Communique of the G7 Health Ministers’ Meeting in 2016, both of which highlighted the importance of promoting universal health coverage.
Prior to this role, she served in numerous health-related positions within the government of Japan, including as Director General of the Hokkaido Regional Bureau of Health and Welfare, Director of the Health and Medical Division at the Ministry of Defense, and Counsellor to the Permanent Mission of Japan to the United Nations. She holds a medical degree, a PhD in epidemiology and a Masters in Public Health.