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EUPHA Advisory bodies

EUPHA Past Presidents Committee

All past presidents of EUPHA become lifelong members of the Past Presidents Committee.

The Executive Council can request advice from the Past Presidents Committee, and can ask individual members to represent EUPHA in official situations.

The Past Presidents Committee can decide, by a majority of votes, to invite other past members of the Executive Council to become members of the Council of Past Presidents.

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Stan Tarkowski - an appreciation

The 21st January 2019 brought the sad news that Stanislaw (Stan) Tarkowski had passed away that morning. Stan was a tremendous supporter of EUPHA. He served as our President in 2009/10 and hosted an extremely successful European Public Health Conference in his home city of Łódź, Poland. He had returned there after serving for seven years as Director of the Division of Environment and Health at WHO EURO, taking up a post as Professor of Public Health at the Nofer Institute of Occupational Health. Łódź had been a major manufacturing centre, sometimes called the Manchester of Poland, and its experience of industrialisation had highlighted the important contribution of occupational and environmental health to the wellbeing of the wider population.

Stan’s formal involvement with EUPHA had begun in 2000, when he attended his first Governing Council, as President of the Polish Association of Public Health. Those present recall his commitment to public health in Europe and determination that Poland should play an important role in developing the public health community. With its sections, pillars, and themes, EUPHA can seem a complex organisation for a newcomer but his perceptive questions meant that he soon understood its ways of working. In 2007 he joined the Executive Board as President Elect, always providing sound advice to his colleagues and ensuring that we kept a focus on the major issues we faced. He was especially concerned about the need to strengthen the public health workforce to make it fit for the future. 

Never one to be deterred by a challenge, he had identified a conference centre that had everything needed except that it was still undergoing renovation. Indeed, by June it was still incomplete but he made sure that everything was ready by the time of the conference.  He used the conference to highlight something he had been arguing for over many years, the importance of understanding the influences of the environment for health. In this respect, the conference was an opportunity to look to the future, and especially the threat posed by climate change. But those gathered in Łódź could not ignore history, and especially that of the city’s Jewish community. The city had welcomed large numbers of Jews fleeing the Russian pogroms and, by the 1930s, they comprised a third of the city’s inhabitants. Stan was determined that no-one should forget what happened next, organising a poignant pre-conference at Auschwitz that served as a reminder of why the public health community must always speak out on racism, xenophobia, and populism.

In 2010, Stan passed the baton to Walter Ricciardi, but agreed to remain on the Executive Board for a further four years as Past President, always contributing his wisdom and advice in a quiet, but extremely perceptive and helpful way. This was a time of major organisational change for EUPHA, a process he gave valuable support to, including through his leadership of the Past Presidents Committee.

Even after standing down, he continued to support the work of EUPHA but was prevented, by his final illness, from attending the Ljubljana conference.

Those who were fortunate to work with him will remember his loyalty, kindness, vision, and support. We will miss him greatly.

Walter Ricciardi
Natasha Azzopardi Muscat
Martin McKee
Dineke Zeegers Paget


Current members

Prof Peter Allebeck, Sweden

Dr Natasha Azzopardi Muscat, Malta

Prof Marc Brodin, France

Prof Louise Gunning-Schepers, Netherlands

Prof Ilmo Keskimäki, Finland

Prof Martin McKee, United Kingdom

Prof Klim Mcpherson, United Kingdom

Prof Alena Petráková, Czechia

Prof Walter Ricciardi, Italy

Prof Gunnar Tellnes, Norway

Prof John-Paul Vader, Switzerland

Dr Viviane Van Casteren, Belgium