Thomas O’Connell is Senior Health Specialist (Economic Analyst) for the Health Section at UNICEF in New York. He works with national authorities and partners to resolve constraints to better performing and more equitable health systems, such as: 1) lack of evidence-based national and sub-national planning and budgeting; 2) fragmented and poorly responsive international support; and 3) limited attention to addressing financial and other demand-side barriers to access. Thomas has worked in public health for over 28 years, and in over 50 countries in South America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. He started with the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1999 leading a project to strengthen district health management in Africa. Following positions with WHO’s Roll Back Malaria Partnership, Commission of Macroeconomics and Health Support unit, and Health System Strengthening teams, Mr. O’Connell joined UNICEF in 2009. In addition to research on strengthening the performance and equity of district health systems, he managed a project investigating how health insurance policies and practices in Africa and Asia contribute to achieving Universal Healthcare coverage. Thomas was awarded a nursing degree in 1982, and subsequently received an MBA from the Edinburgh Business School and an MSc in Economics (Development) from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.