The 2013 Opening Ceremony for the Edmundo Granda Ugalde Leaders in international Health Program (LIHP) took place virtually on 3 June 2013, with approximately 100 people participating from over 20 different countries. The bilingual event included a keynote presentation by Dr. José Romero Teruel, Assistant Director a.i. of the Pan American Sanitary Bureau, who highlighted the contributions of the Program in the development of professionals who are able to confront health and development challenges in an increasingly globalized world.

This year’s cohort represents the sixth year of the LIHP and includes 48 participants from 23 PAHO Member Countries. The participants come from many diverse institutional and academic backgrounds, including the health field, international relations, social sciences, environmental sciences, economics, veterinary medicines, engineering, and others.

Throughout the nine-month Program, participants interact with each other, tutors, mentors, and other experts to debate relevant issues and complete the learning activities in each of the Program’s modules. Participants are also required to develop a country project relating to a real-life priority public health issue in their country or region that they present upon culmination of the Program. In this manner, the Program’s learning activities reinforce one-another and help participants form professional networks and develop competencies that will better enable them to address the evolving challenges in international health.