Johanna Ralston

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

Johanna oversees the implementation of the WOF five year plan for 2020-25, including advocacy for global obesity targets, education and capacity building, and evidence and data.  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 global capacity-building programmes in cancer and tobacco control in low and middle income countries. 

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.  She has published in journals, newspapers and other publications on NCDs and wider health issues. Since 2017, Johanna has also been a Fellow at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, writing and teaching on NCDs and global health security.  

Johanna is a citizen of Sweden and the US and an alumna of Harvard Business School, with public health studies at Harvard and Johns Hopkins.  Johanna also has lived experience of NCDs and has written and spoken on the importance of people at the centre of health and food systems.