Dividing his time between New York and Seattle, Jose Julio “JJ” Divino is a public health advocate, campaigner and communications specialist with extensive experience in non-profit and philanthropic environments. With extensive volunteer management experience and analytic problem solving skills, he is a collaborative communicator focused on building relationships within an organization and the community to drive new partnerships and awareness of public health and policy issues.
Since returning home to the United States after having been based in Europe for 20 years, he has worked as consultant, program manager and advocate for both non and for-profit institutions in New York City and Washington, DC, notably in the prevention of violence against children, disability rights, diabetes advocacy, and, psychosocial support for children in a post-ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) society. JJ is a Global Health Senior Consultant with the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Africa and was previously affiliated with the COVID-19 Infodemic Response Pillar at the WHO in Geneva. He is also a contractual Public Health Advisor for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, working specifically on the prevention, containment and mitigation of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Previously based in Geneva and Rome, JJ was Senior Adviser of the International Society of Pediatric Oncology (SIOP), where he provided strategic guidance and advice to executive leadership. JJ was the organization’s liaison to childhood cancer parent organizations, youth-focused community-based organizations and funding agencies. In close partnership with clinicians, childhood cancer parents organizations and governments, he was instrumental in organizing the first childhood cancer side-event on the margins of the 68th World Health Assembly in Geneva in May 2015, co-sponsored by the governments of Germany, Ghana, the Philippines and the Russian Federation. JJ was also the Senior Campaigns Officer of the World Stroke Organization where he provided advice to the society’s leadership. Working closely with neurologists, stroke survivors and their caregivers, nurses, heads of stroke support organizations, advocates and the public at-large, JJ was key in the launch of the World Stroke Campaign as well as in the creation of the Stroke Patient Bill of Rights.
JJ headed the Campaigns and Communications Cluster at the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) in Geneva from 2004 to 2008 where he was instrumental in launching the World Cancer Day and World Cancer Campaign initiatives. JJ was also the first coordinator of the My Child Matters (MCM) childhood cancer program. Today, MCM is the most comprehensive operational pediatric oncology initiative in resource-constrained countries helping “to ensure that all children with cancer have the same chance of survival as in anywhere else in the world and that no child should die of cancer.”
While at the UICC, at the invitation of the World Health Organization, he represented civil society at its first roundtable on cancer prevention and control at the 57 th Session of the Regional Committee for Africa held in Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo. He attributes the success of the global public health campaigns that he has managed and helped launched to strategic alliances, community ownership and tangible deliverables.
Earlier on in his career, JJ was involved in the HIV/AIDS global health response. Based with the Africa Division at UNAIDS in Geneva, he was the administrator of the Program Acceleration Funds, the agency’s catalytic funding mechanism to support life-saving initiatives and projects in HIV/AIDS-affected communities worldwide.
Working at the UN World Food Program headquarters in Rome, he served as Program Officer (HIV/AIDS focal point) within the Operations Department, using food aid as a tool to help stem the rise of HIV/AIDS cases in food insecure communities, while at the same time, fight hunger by addressing the food insecurity of households and communities heavily impacted by the HIV/AIDS epidemic through specialized intervention programs.
As Technical Officer attached to the Medical Services Unit of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Geneva, from 1996 to 1998, in addition to being involved in the humanitarian response to the ongoing conflict in the Balkans (notably in Bosnia and Herzegovina), JJ worked on a European Commission-funded report assessing the impact of migration into and between European Union Member States on patterns of health, diseases and healthcare services. The assessment became the basis for the 1997 European Commission (Directorate General for Health and Consumer Affairs) Public Health Report.
JJ holds a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree in Community Health Education from New York University and is an alumnus of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government Executive Program. A dual citizen of the USA and Switzerland, JJ is fluent in English, French and Filipino.