Johanna Ralston

Johanna is a global leader in noncommunicable disease advocacy, with over 20 years’ experience of working in NCDs worldwide.

Prior to joining World Obesity in 2017, Johanna was the CEO of the World Heart Federation and Vice Chair of the NCD Alliance. During her time at the World Heart Federation, Johanna led the CVD community’s coordinated effort to elevate CVD on the global health agenda.

From 1999 to 2011, Johanna was VP Global Strategies at the American Cancer Society, where she built and led the Society’s global capacity-building programmes in cancer and tobacco control in low and middle income countries. 

Johanna’s work in development and global health has also included positions at New York University and the International Planned Parenthood Federation of Latin America, where she served as Program Development Adviser.

Johanna has served on a number of advisory boards and expert groups for the World Health Organization, World Economic Forum, Lancet, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and has spoken at global sessions with heads of state and health ministers.

Since January, Johanna has been a Senior Fellow at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, writing and teaching on NCDs and global health security.  

An alumna of Harvard Business School, Johanna has also studied public health at Harvard and Johns Hopkins. 

She is a citizen of Sweden and the United States, and speaks fluent Swedish and English and intermediate French.