Marie-Ange Saraka-Yao, Gavi’s Chief Resource Mobilisation & Growth Officer, appointed Ambassador for the Virchow Prize for Global Health

News, VF Ambassadors


The Virchow Foundation for Global Health is delighted to announce Marie-Ange Saraka-Yao of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance as our newest Ambassador advocating for greater visibility of the Virchow Prize for Global Health. Ms Saraka-Yao’s outstanding leadership, her influential voice and extensive, diverse network will help raise awareness for the international prize.

Marie-Ange Saraka-Yao is Gavi’s Chief Resource Mobilisation & Growth Officer and lead negotiator with the G7 and G20. She is a development finance expert with a 20-year track record in strategic leadership, policy and innovative finance solutions development and resource mobilisation globally as well as in emerging markets.

Since joining Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance in 2011, her leadership has played a pivotal role in securing the highest level of resources ever for Gavi. Under her stewardship, Gavi has raised over US$21 billion, for the 2021-2025 period alone, from global government donors, foundations and corporations to provide children with lifesaving vaccines and to support COVID-19 efforts. These funds and investments led to the vaccination of more than 1 billion children in Gavi eligible countries and financed the largest vaccine roll out in history with close to 2 billion COVID-19 vaccines being delivered through Gavi’s COVAX facility between 2020 and 2023, averting 2.7 million deaths across 92 lower-income countries.

Marie-Ange is also the key driver behind Gavi’s private sector partnerships and investments to scale innovation for impact. She has spearheaded the Innovation for Uptake, Scale and Equity in Immunisation (INFUSE) platform, an investment marketplace launched at Davos in 2016, to provide low-income countries with access to vetted and tested innovations that can be adapted and scaled up for efficient healthcare delivery. In her capacity, she has also helped to leverage diverse and innovative financial instruments for Gavi, such as the International Financing Facility for Immunisation (IFFIm), the Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) Advanced Market Commitment (AMC), the EIB Frontloading Facility, the Gavi Matching Fund and most recently the African Vaccine Manufacturing Accelerator (AVMA).

Prior to joining Gavi, Marie-Ange held several senior management positions at the World Bank and at the African Development Bank. Marie-Ange was awarded with the WBG President’s Awards of Excellence for Innovation twice. She is a French and Ivorian national and holds a Master of Business Administration from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Economics from the French Business School ESSEC.

Nomination phase for the 2024 Virchow Prize for Global Health is still open through February 29, 2024. Learn more about the nomination process, eligibility criteria and qualified nominators here.