In 2015, Joanna Rubinstein was appointed as President & CEO of World Childhood Foundation (WCF) USA. Founded in 1999 by Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden, WCF invests in innovative programs to end violence and child sexual abuse and exploitation.
An expert in global health and sustainable development, Rubinstein brought to WCF over a decade of experience in leadership roles at Columbia University (CU) and at the United Nations (UN). As Chief of Staff to Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, Rubinstein helped develop and lead several global initiatives in health, education and sustainable development. Notably, she supported artist Shakira and ALAS’ work on Early Childhood Development (ECD) in Latin America and the Carribean, the ITU/UNESCO Broadband Commission, the Ministerial Working Group on Health, and the Millennium Development Goals Advocates. As a Senior Research Scientist and an Assistant Director of the Earth Institute of CU, she was instrumental in the development of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network. Currently, Rubinstein supports members of the Sustainable Development Goals Advocacy Group of the UN Secretary General.
Throughout her career, Rubinstein has advocated for the importance of research and collective action, and has established high-level partnerships with academia, governments and the private sector (Unilever, Nestle, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Novartis, Sanofi Aventis, Becton Dickinson, Sumitomo, Eni, Ericsson, Digicel, Zain, Airtel, IKEA, H&M and now Carlson Wagonlit Travel).
Rubinstein was recently appointed as a commissioner of the ITU/UNESCO Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development. She serves on numerous boards/committees, including the board of The Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children, the UN World Tourism Organization’s Network on Child Protection in Travel and Tourism, the Leadership Council of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, the steering committee of the ECD and Peace Building Consortium, and on the board of International Science, Technology and Innovation Centre for South-South Cooperation (ISTIC) under the auspices of UNESCO. She is also a member of the scientific advisory board of the Global Health Initiative of Chicago University, and a former member of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council.
Before joining the Earth Institute in 2005, Rubinstein was the Senior Associate Dean for Institutional and Global Initiatives at the CU Medical Center (2002-2005). In Sweden, Rubinstein served as the Director for Research and Postgraduate Education at the Karolinska Institute (KI) (1999 - 2002), and was a director at Sweden’s Medical Research Council (1997 - 1999). She is trained as a D.D.S. and holds a Ph.D. and is an Assistant Professor in cell and molecular biology from KI.