Derek Yach

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Derek Yach

Derek Yach (born 21 November 1955) was the president of the Philip Morris International-funded Foundation for a Smoke-Free World.[1] He is a former employee of the World Health Organization and of PepsiCo.


He received his MBChB from the University of Cape Town in 1979 and his MPH from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in 1985. In 2007, he received an honorary DSc from Georgetown University.[2]


Yach was Chief Health Officer of the Vitality Group and the Executive Director of the Vitality Institute.[3] At the WHO, Yach served under Director-General Gro Harlem Brundtland, as a cabinet director where he worked on the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control and the Global Strategy on Diet and Physical Activity. Yach worked temporarily at the Rockefeller Foundation and served as SVP for Global Health and Agriculture Policy at PepsiCo (2007–13)[4]

Foundation for a Smoke-Free World[edit]

Yach helped establish the Foundation for a Smoke-Free World in September 2017 with funding of USD 80 million annually for 12 years pledged by the tobacco industry Philip Morris International,[5] “to accelerate global efforts to reduce health impacts and deaths from smoking, with the goal of ultimately eliminating smoking worldwide.[6][7] Departed 25 Oct 2021

Memberships and associations[edit]

Yach serves on several advisory boards, including the NIH’s John E. Fogarty International Center.[8] He serves on the Board of Directors of Cornerstone Capital Group, a sustainable finance-focused investment advisory firm founded by Erika Karp.[9]


  1. ^ "Foundation commits to end smoking". tobacco reporter. January 2017.
  2. ^ "Derek Yach". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  3. ^ "Derek Yach". The Vitality Institute. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  4. ^ "How One Man Tried To Slim Down Big Soda From The Inside". Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  5. ^ "Funding | Foundation for a Smoke-Free World". Retrieved 31 October 2019.
  6. ^ "Philip Morris Pledges $1 Billion to Fight Smoking". Bloomberg. January 2017.
  7. ^ "About Us - Foundation for a Smoke-Free World". January 2017. Foundation for a Smoke-Free World.
  8. ^ "Authors". World Economic Forum. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  9. ^ "Cornerstone JSFB" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 11 May 2020.