Commissioner: Alexander S. Preker, Phd
“An effective global campaign to address health-related pollution could have a major impact on health in the 21st century and on related healthcare expenditure.”
Alexander S. Preker is President and CEO of the Health Investment & Financing Corporation. He is a Founding Member of the New York Chapter of the Keiretsu Forum, an LLP with Keiretsu Capita and an active investor in environmentally friendly and high impact early stage healthcare companies. Mr. Preker is a Commissioner for the Global Commission on Pollution and Health, a member of the board of the USA HealthCare Alliance, and the Chair of the External Advisory Committee for the International Hospital Federation. He is Editor-in-Chief for the World Scientific Series on Health Investment and Financing. He is an Executive Scholar and Adjunct Professor at Columbia University, New York University, and Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai.
Why did you decide to join the Commission on Pollution + Health?
Having worked for many years with the World Bank and International Finance Corporation in developing countries, I have seen first-hand the great environmental damage caused by pollution. I also often saw health conditions that I suspected might have environmental and pollution-related causes. Joining the Commission was a great opportunity to be involved in research focused on better understanding the links between pollution, health, and development.
What impact will the work of the Commission have?
The links between pollution, health, and development have not received much attention in the past. Even though the pollution-related health problems and healthcare expenditure are greater than many of the other threats to global health, it has received little attention from policy makers, public health specialist, healthcare professionals and the public. An effective global campaign to address health-related pollution could have a major impact on health in the 21st century and on related healthcare expenditure.
How can we overcome obstacles to progress in the fight against pollution? What changes do you hope to see in your lifetime?
The pollution related health and development challenges that we see today require a collaborative intersectional approach. During my lifetime, I would like to see all major industrial countries and many developing countries introduce and enforce new pollution-related action plans to address this major global scourge of the 21st century. I would also like to see the private sector in many countries develop new business models for the more sustainable industrial production of goods and services.
The Commission on Pollution and Health is an initiative of The Lancet, the Global Alliance on Health and Pollution (GAHP), and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Commissioners include many of the world’s leading researchers and practitioners in the fields of pollution management, environmental health and sustainable development.