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UCL Global Business School for Health appoints former Australian health minister and launches undergrad course

UCL business school health minister

The world’s first business school dedicated to health, UCL’s Global Business School for Health (GBSH), today announces the appointment of former Australian Health Minister Professor the Hon Greg Hunt as an Honorary Professor. Bolstered by two senior appointments – Shing-Wai Wong as Executive Education Director and Professor Shehla Zaidi as Global Health Management Programme Lead – this strengthens GBSH’s research credentials and international presence as it heads into a significant growth period. 

Professor Hunt is a highly experienced former Australian Cabinet Minister, having served across three major portfolios over almost nine years. As Minister for Health from 2017 to 2022, Professor Hunt oversaw Australia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, established telehealth as a permanent and universal centrepiece of Medicare, and developed long-term plans for mental health, aged care, medical research, and primary care. 

Professor Hunt was also Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science from 2016 to 2017, and Minister for the Environment from 2013 to 2016. In 2016, he was named Best Minister in the World at the World Government Summit. Before entering politics, Professor Hunt graduated with First Class Honours in Law from the University of Melbourne, and was a Fulbright Scholar to Yale University. He worked at Australian Law firm Mallesons and as a consultant at McKinsey & Co. 

Currently, Professor Hunt advises a wide range of businesses and NGOs on health, leadership, innovation, and strategic planning – including being an Honorary Enterprise Professor at the University of Melbourne and Chair of the Advisory Council for the Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health at Monash University. 

In his new role, Professor Hunt will focus on policy and practice to support medical innovation, comparative global health systems, strategic planning, and leadership development. 

Professor Hunt’s professorship comes as the GBSH further strengthens its senior leadership team, appointing Shing-Wai Wong as Executive Education Director and Professor Shehla Zaidi as Global Health Management Programme Lead. 

Wong is a seasoned expert in driving commercial growth for academic institutions. Most recently she served as Associate Director of Executive Education for the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School, responsible for leading business development and corporate partnerships internationally, scaling and launching flagship programmes, and enhancing reputation through prestigious global rankings. Wong is also passionate about diversity and inclusion. She has led over a decade’s work in advancing women through executive development and serves as a member of the Women’s Higher Education Network’s Advisory Board. 

Zaidi has 25 years of academic leadership, teaching, and research experience at the Aga Khan University. She has worked on tackling contemporary health challenges of private sector integration for universal health coverage, multi-sector governance for better health and policy drivers of health initiatives in Pakistan, MENA  and South Asia. She also brings policy advisory and leadership training experience through her assignments with the World Health Organisation, the World Bank, and other multilateral agencies.

With over 40 years of collective healthcare and business experience between them, Wong will lead the GBSH’s Executive Education offering, a diverse range of practical and outcome oriented programmes and client partnerships, delivered in-person, hybrid and online. Whilst Zaidi will be the Programme Lead for Masters in Global Healthcare Management. The dual appointment marks UCL GBSH’s ambition to further strengthen its academic offering.

This news comes as UCL last week launched an inaugural undergraduate degree in Business and Health, one of the first of its kind. 

Founded in 2021, UCL GBSH brings together industry leaders and cross-disciplinary academics to act as a centre for excellence, generating new ideas and improving patient care. 

Professor Nora Colton, Director at UCL GBSH, said:

“Greg, Shing-Wai, and Shehla are three exceptional additions to UCL GBSH’s senior team, joining a diverse group of leaders across business and health. Their contributions will be game-changing for UCL GBSH as we look to grow the school’s international presence even further in 2024, as well as our students who’ll be learning from some of the brightest minds in the industry. From Greg’s wealth of political experience to Shing business expansion credentials and Shehla’s academic prowess, I’m so glad to have each of them on board – representing another step forward for our students and the GBSH as a whole.”

Professor Greg Hunt, Honorary Professor at UCL GBSH, said:

“As we enter 2024, the global healthcare system is battling some of the biggest challenges it’s ever faced. The pandemic, growing demand, staff shortages, an ageing population, and years of low funding have stretched services beyond capacity. We need talented leaders trained in exactly the skills that UCL GBSH facilitates. Collaborating with its experienced senior leadership team, I’m looking forward to bringing my experience in healthcare and strategic planning to this fantastic organisation and to work with the next generation of health leaders from both the public and private sectors.”

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