Dirk van Eeden built expertise in sexual and reproductive health over 20 years, in the public and private sectors and on three continents. His experience spans projects from community-level behaviour change communication programs to globally significant policy development.
Born in rural South Africa, Dirk remains passionate about the needs and potential of marginalised communities, wherever they are, and the healthcare policies that affect them.
Dirk’s broad experience in sexual and reproductive health allows him to provide expert counsel on:
- Sexual and reproductive health policies
- Patient relations and community stewardship
- Healthcare economics
- Pharmaceutical intellectual property rights
- Healthcare current affairs communication and issues management
Dirk worked as a journalist in South Africa before transitioning to healthcare public affairs. He advised several local and global pharmaceutical companies during his career in South Africa. Helping to develop and implement behaviour change communication strategies to accompany the introduction of HIV antiretroviral medicines in the Botswana public healthcare system, was an early career highlight.
He then worked as a healthcare public affairs consultant in London, specializing in HIV policies and medicines. His clients included most of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies and industry bodies. Interaction with government agencies and policy makers became a mainstay of his work at that time.
Dirk moved to Chicago when recruited by a client and major pharmaceutical company ten years ago. As senior director of policy communications, Dirk’s first priorities were to improve relationships with the global HIV activist community and to help introduce second line HIV medicines in developing countries around the world. Over his tenure, Dirk helped his former company to turn around its relationships with patient advocacy groups and to become a welcome participant in global health policy discussions.