Peter Sands became Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in March 2018. Sands is the former Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered PLC, one of the world’s leading international banks operating across over 70 markets, primarily in emerging markets. After a distinguished career in banking, Sands was a research fellow at the Harvard Global Health Institute and the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at Harvard Kennedy School, where he immersed himself in a range of global public health projects.
In 2016-2017, Sands chaired the International Working Group on Financing Pandemic Preparedness at the World Bank. In 2015-16, he was Chairman of the U.S. National Academy of Medicine’s Commission on a Global Health Risk Framework for the Future, which published the influential report “The Neglected Dimension of Global Security: a Framework to Counter Infectious Disease Threats” in January 2016. Sands is also a member of the U.S. National Academy of Science’s Forum on Microbial Threats and is serving on a Committee on Ensuring Access to Affordable Drugs.
Sands served as Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered PLC from 2006 to 2015, having joined the bank in 2002 as Group Finance Director. Under his leadership, Standard Chartered successfully navigated the turbulence of the global financial crisis in 2007-2009, continuing to support clients and counterparties throughout the worst of the financial stresses and without drawing on government support of any kind. Sands led Standard Chartered’s transformation into one of the world’s leading international banks, reinforcing its focus on emerging markets and driving the development of world-class product, risk management and technology capabilities, underpinned by a highly collaborative culture.
During Sands’ tenure as CEO, Standard Chartered focused its corporate responsibility initiatives on health issues, including avoidable blindness, AIDS and malaria. Sands served on the board of the Global Business Coalition on AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and was Lead Non-Executive Director on the board of the United Kingdom’s Department of Health.
After stepping down from the bank in 2015, Sands has deployed his skills and experience in international finance in global health. Sands has chaired and participated in a range of high profile initiatives and has published articles on global health and epidemics in various peer-reviewed journals. His published works on global health include: “The Neglected Dimension of Global Security – A Framework for countering Infectious-Disease Crises,” in the New England Journal of Medicine, January 2016; “A Stitch in Time saves Nine: Financing Pandemic Preparedness through Domestic Resource Mobilization,” Global Health & Diplomacy, April 2016; “Assessing Economic Vulnerability to Infectious Disease Outbreaks,” The Lancet, May 2016; “Beyond the Ebola Battle – Winning the War against Future Epidemics,” British Medical Journal, January 2017; and “From Panic and Neglect to Investing in Health Security: Financing Pandemic Preparedness at a National Level,” World Bank, May 2017.
Sands has served on numerous boards and commissions, including as a governor of the UK’s National Institute for Economic and Social Research, as a member of the International Advisory Board of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, as board director of the Institute of International Finance, and as a director of the World Economic Forum.
Born in the United Kingdom, the son of a naval officer and an artist, Sands was educated in Malaysia, the UK, Canada and the U.S. He began his career in the UK’s Foreign Office and then joined McKinsey & Company, where he worked for 13 years in the London office, advising clients in the financial services and telecommunications sectors.
Sands graduated from Brasenose College, Oxford University with a First Class degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics. He also received a Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard University, where he was a Harkness Fellow.