Building Sustainable, Resilient and Thriving Rural Places


Theadora Swift KOLLER


Senior Technical Advisor, Health Equity


Theadora Swift Koller, Senior Technical Advisor (Equity), has been with the World Health Organization since 2002, working in WHO/HQ, WHO Regional Office for Europe, and WHO India Country Office. She currently leads work on reorienting health planning and programming to be more equity-oriented in the context of reforms towards Universal Health Coverage. As 4 out of 5 of the world’s extreme poor live in rural areas and can experience worse health and less access to health services for many conditions, tackling health inequities experiencing by rural populations is a key part of her work, as is advancing assets-based approaches to territorial resilience and development. Theadora has led/is leading multiple activities on rural health, including a study on rural proofing for health, national assessments of barriers to health services experienced by rural and remote populations, an interagency UN working group and report on overcoming inequalities in rural public service provision, health programme evaluations using Innov8, and capacity-building of health professionals for rural health equity. Prior to joining WHO and largely in parallel to her academic training, Theadora worked with the Stanford University’s Centre for Latin American Studies, Cable News Network environment and sustainable development shows (CNN), and the Earth Council/Consejo de la Tierra in Costa Rica. She also had a research fellowship at the Chilean Corporacion Nacional Forestal, working with Mapuche peoples.

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