Marie-Paule Kieny, Ph.D., is currently director of research at Inserm (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale) in Paris, where she assists the president on international cooperation. Until June 2017, on a leave of absence from Inserm, she served as the Assistant Director-General for Health Systems and Innovation at the World Health Organization. Kieny also directed the WHO Initiative for Vaccine Research from 2001 to 2010. Key successes under her leadership roles at WHO include developing and licensing new vaccines against bacterial meningitis, addressing global supply of pandemic influenza vaccine especially in developing countries through technology transfer and manufacturing, and developing vaccines against poverty-related diseases. Such initiatives are continuing priorities of Kieny.
Before joining WHO, Kieny held top research positions in the public and private sectors in France which included assistant scientific director of Transgene S.A. from 1981 to 1988 and director of research and head of the Hepatitis C Virus Molecular Virology Group at the Institute of Virology at INSERM from 1999 to 2000.
Kieny received her Ph.D. in microbiology (1980) and university diploma in economics from the University of Montpelier; Diplôme d’Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches from the University of Strasbourg in 1995. She has published over 350 articles and reviews, mainly in the areas of infectious diseases, immunology, vaccinology and health systems.
Kieny has been awarded the title of Chevalier dans l’Ordre National de la Légion d’honneur (Knight in the National Order of the Legion of Honour, France) in 2016; Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite, au titre du Ministère de la Recherche (Knight of the National Order of Merit, under the Ministry of Research, France) in 2000; the Prix Génération 2000-Impact Médecin in 1994; and the Prix de l’Innovation Rhône-Poulenc in 1991.