Irene Akua Agyepong is a public health physician from Ghana. She has been Regional Director of Health Services in the Ghana Health Service Greater Accra region from April 2004 to October 2012 and Professor to the Prince Claus Chair in Development and Equity (2008 – 2010) in the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands. She has currently moved to the School of Public Health of the University of Ghana, to support the development of a Public Health Leadership doctoral program. She is a member and currently Chair of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) of the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research. She has an MBChB (1986) from the University of Ghana Medical School; an MCommH (1991) from the University of Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, and a DRPH (2000) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-Chapel Hill), School of Public Health (Health Policy and Administration /Public Health Leadership). She is a Foundation Fellow of the Ghana College of Physicians and Surgeons. She was awarded the Arnold Kaluzny distinguished alumuni award of the Public Health Leadership program of UNC Chapel Hill in 2008.
The field of HSR is one to which I am highly committed. I have and continue to invest time and effort in advocacy, research, capacity building and knowledge translation in Ghana as well as internationally. I am delighted to see the field increase in prominence in recent years. It is a window of opportunity of which maximum use must be made.
Apart from being a member of the Council of Deans, I was active in several sessions in the first symposium including being one of the plenary speakers. In this second symposium in Beijing I have remained equally active and will be participating as chair or speaker in several sessions.
The creation of this society is another major step forward in the coming of age of the field of HSR. It is field whose development holds major potential for the transformation of health systems. I hope by my membership of the board to be an advocate for the field and also ensure that the voice and the perspective of the African continent is heard; and support provided for the development of the field across the world without leaving Africa behind.