Paul Wilson, PhD

  • Assistant Professor of Clinical Health Policy & Management
Profile Headshot


Paul Wilson is a scientist and economist working on global health policy. Some of his recent projects have concerned equitable vaccine supply in epidemics and pandemics, incentives for the development of new drugs for neglected diseases, and access to treatment for malnourished children. He has also worked on vaccine and malaria drug financing and was the lead author of the UN Millennium Project report Combating AIDS in the Developing World. Currently a consultant to NGOs and international organizations, Paul has been Director of Policy Analysis at the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative and Associate Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University.

Before moving to Columbia to work on global health policy, Dr. Wilson held research positions at Harvard, Rockefeller University, and Cornell Medical College, where he was Assistant Professor of Cell Biology. He has degrees in Zoology, Economics, and Physics.

At the Mailman School, Paul and his colleague Ahmed Shelbaya teach Priorities in Global Health, a survey course for Masters students pursuing the Global Health certificate.

Academic Appointments

  • Assistant Professor of Clinical Health Policy & Management

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • BA, 1980 Princeton
  • MSc, 1982 London School of Economics
  • PhD, 1990 University of California at Berkeley


Research Interests

  • Global Health
  • Healthcare Policy
  • Infectious Diseases

Selected Publications

Wilson, P.A., Thornton, I. & G. Gandhi (2023). Public health emergency archetypes: A framework to guide efforts to ensure equitable access to medical countermeasures. BMJ Global Health 8(5): e012436.

Thornton, I., Wilson, P.A. & G. Gandhi (2022). “No regrets” purchasing in a pandemic: making the most of advanced purchase agreements. Globalization and Health 18(1):62.

Kallenberg, J., Nguyen, A., Mok, W., Saxenian, H., Ryckman, T., Wilson, P. & R. Newman (2016). Gavi’s transition policy: moving from development assistance to domestic financing of immunization programs. Health Affairs 35:250-8.

Hecht, R., Wilson, P. & Palriwala, M. (2009). Improving Health R&D Financing for Developing Countries: A Menu of Innovative Policy Options Health Affairs 28: 974-85.

Wilson, P. & Hecht, R. (2007). Financing of vaccine R&D gaps and opportunities for innovation. Global Forum Update on Research for Health 4: 88-93.

Ruxin, J., Paluzzi, J. E., Wilson, P. A., Tozan, Y., Kruk, M. & Teklehaimanot, A. (2005). Emerging consensus in HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, and access to essential medicines Lancet 365: 618-621. UN Millennium Project [P.A. Wilson, lead author] (2005). Combatting AIDS in the Developing World. Task Force on HIV/AIDS, Malaria, TB, and Access to Essential Medicines, Working Group on HIV/AIDS.

Wilson, P. A. & Hemmati-Brivanlou, A. (1995). Induction of epidermis and inhibition of neural fate by BMP4. Nature 376: 331-333.

Global Health Activities

Access to vaccines in epidemics and pandemics: I participated in an important evaluation of the COVAX initiative to help low- and middle-income countries obtain Covid-19 vaccines during the recent pandemic, leading the analysis of COVAX’s efforts to secure vaccine supply.

Vaccine financing: I helped Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to develop and revise its policies on country eligibility, transition, co-financing, and prioritization of country proposals.

Incentives for neglected disease R&D: I have advised Oxfam, MSF, the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, UNICEF, and others on ways to accelerate the development of new drugs and vaccines needed in low- and middle-income countries.

Treatment of acute malnutrition (wasting): I worked with Results for Development (R4D) and UNICEF on the integration of wasting treatment into routine healthcare, with UNICEF Supply Division on ways to make treatments for wasting more affordable, and with R4D and the Eleanor Crook Foundation on financing for wasting treatment.

Other global health projects have addressed malaria drug subsidies, new tropical disease medicines, the role of India in the development of new drugs and vaccines, and value for money in malaria programs.