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Joseph Williams (CDE)

Immunization Financing and Sustainability Intern at Gavi/COVAX and Fellow at the Yale Institute for Global Health

Career Goal

Joseph Williams, CDE, sits at his home office during his internship.

I am in the process of applying to medical school. I see myself eventually working clinically in emergency medicine or critical care medicine and academically designing/conducting implementation science at both the international and community levels. I hope to partner with global agencies such as Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders or Partners in Health.

Internship Outline

I served as an Immunization Financing and Sustainability Intern at Gavi/COVAX and as a Fellow at the Yale Institute for Global Health. I worked directly with the COVAX Country Communications team and various multidisciplinary arms of COVAX to develop a new participation model for their 2022 strategy for Self-Financing Participants. The GAVI board gave the team several guidelines for simplification, risk mitigation and inclusivity that the team and I have been working within. Designing the model required us to overcome logistical and financial challenges. We also learned to astutely navigate diplomatic hurdles.

Value of Experience

I am keenly invested in global health and furthering my knowledge of global health at-large. Working with GAVI/COVAX has given me valuable insight into the daily organizational operations of macroscopic organizations such as GAVI, WHO and UNICEF. While I do not necessarily see myself working in the field of global finance or international relations, the insight I have gained through this internship has informed me of proper diplomatic conduct. I firmly believe that this internship has reinforced my passion for global health, and has provided me a robust understanding of global solidarity and the necessity for negotiating and compromising minor positions and goals in order to achieve a larger global health objective. In this capacity, my ability to lead has grown.

Best Moment/Experience

Joseph Williams, CDE, participates in a Zoom meeting during his internship with Gavi/COVAX.

I was asked to compile data and perform big-data analysis to ascertain vaccination cost, distribution levels, and differences in vaccine compliance across high-, middle- and low-income countries. Coming into this internship, I had completed one year of statistical training and coding in R. I was excited to put these skills to the test in a real-world environment. After completing the task and submitting graphs and statistical findings, my supervisor was impressed with the product, and I felt I had been given an opportunity to reinforce my skills. The project gave me a greater appreciation of how biostatistics can be applied to real-world problems.

Funding Source

Yale Institute of Global Health (Leadership in Global Health Fellowship)