Dr. Vesna Kerstin Petrič is currently Director-General of the Public Health Directorate at the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Slovenia. She graduated in Medicine at University of Ljubljana  and earned a Master Degree in Public Health and Clinical Aspects of Addiction at University of London, King's College, Institute of Psychiatry. Dr Vesna-Kerstin Petrič has an extensive national and international experience in working on public health policies and a proven track record of leadership on politically demanding health issues. She has established a coalition of partners in support to tobacco control in Slovenia and since then successfully contributed as a civil servant to the adoption of restrictive tobacco control policies, including ban on smoking in all closed places (2007) and plain packaging (2017). She is also a holder of the WHO certificate of appreciation (2009) for contribution in tobacco control and is co-chairing the Global network of WHO national counterparts for implementing the Global strategy to reduce the harmful use of alcohol. From 2016 to 2019 she was elected a member of the Standing Committee of the Regional Committee for Europe (SCRC) and was a chair of Sub-group on WHO’s country presence, member of the SCRC subgroup on Governance, its working group on leadership. She has also contributed to the organization of the WHO High Level Conference on Health Equity – Accelerating Progress towards Healthy and Prosperous Lives for all in the WHO European Region. Since maj 2022 she is the Chair of the Executive Board of WHO.