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Paula Johns

Social entrepreneur, sustainable development strategist, sociologist and leading advocate for tobacco control, alcohol, food and health policies in Brazil and worldwide. Co-Founder and Director of the ACT Health Promotion, former Tobacco Control Alliance in Brazil.

Paula has spent the last two decades coordinating, implementing, monitoring and evaluating initiatives to promote human rights, gender equity, public health and the environment. Her strategies include engaging and mobilizing citizens for change, building research and communication tools to counter industry policies with scientific data, creating impact alliances and influencing public health policies to consider environmental protection, public interest and human rights.

Since 2001, Paula has been working as a program developer for REDEH – Human Development Network – a feminist organization based in Rio de Janeiro with a focus on capacity building of women and community leadership.

In 2003 she founded the ACT Tobacco Control Alliance – a Brazilian coalition of over one thousand organizations and professionals to monitor and support the process of ratification and implementation of the WHO-Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (FCTC) at the national level. Paula has systematically reframed the question of tobacco control in Brazil as a sustainable development and public health issue.

Since 2002 Paula has presented at conferences on tobacco control, health promotion, advocacy and civil society mobilization issues globally. She is an elected member of the Brazilian National Health Council and a Board Member of the NCD Alliance and the Global Alcohol Policy Alliance. Paula was made an Ashoka Fellow in 2010.

Paula has a strong focus on gender, ethnicity/ race, sustainable development and public health issues in Brazil and Europe. She is dedicated to promoting polices which address the systemic changes required for sustainable health systems that support both people and the planet in a positive way.

Paula has a Master of Arts Degree in English and International Development Studies from Roskilde University Center, Denmark. She was born and raised in Brazil, and has lived and traveled extensively in Europe, Latin and Central America as well as conducting research in the area of development studies in Africa.