Ann Aerts

Novartis International / Head Novartis Foundation

Ann Aerts




Ann Aerts has been Head of the Novartis Foundation since January 2013. During this time, she has been leading an organization committed to catalyzing innovations that transform the health of low-income populations. Since 2019, the Novartis Foundation sharpened its focus to concentrate on how digital technology, data science and artificial intelligence can reimagine health and care around the world. 

Ann holds a Degree in Medicine and a Masters in Public Health from the University of Leuven, Belgium, as well as a Degree in Tropical Medicine from the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium. She also owns a Certificate in Applied Epidemiology from the CDC in Atlanta, US and a Certificate of the Program for Executive Development from the IMD Business School, Lausanne, Switzerland. 

In 2014, PharmaVOICE nominated Ann as one of the 100 Most Inspiring People in the life science industry. Being passionate about improving health outcomes through data science and digital technology, Ann applies her relentless commitment to overcoming global health inequities to pioneer solutions that can advance health and care globally. Ann chairs the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development Working Group on Digital Health, is a member of the Governing Council of the UN Technology Bank for Least Developed Countries and the International Advisory Board of the Commonwealth Centre for Digital Health. In 2017-2018 Ann served as a member of the the US National Academies of Science Engineering and Medicine Committee on Improving the Quality of Health Care Globally and currently sits on the US National Academies of Medicine Committee on Healthy Longevity. Ann has authored numerous publications on digital health, infectious and noncommunicable diseases, and multisector partnerships that address global health challenges.

Before leading the Novartis Foundation, Ann was Franchise Medical Director Critical Care for Novartis Pharma in Basel and Therapeutic Area Head Cardiovascular and Metabolism for Novartis Pharma Belgium. Prior to joining Novartis, she served as Director of the Lung and Tuberculosis Association in Belgium and as Head of the Health Services Department of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Geneva. She has also worked as Health Coordinator for the ICRC in several countries.