Josep Antoni Pujante i Conesa was born in Barcelona in 1956. He holds a degree in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Barcelona. He worked as a neurosurgeon at the Hospital Clínic of Barcelona where he also performed emergency surgery.

Moreover, he holds a degree in International Relations from the Autonomous University of Barcelona and a degree in Business Administration from IESE Business School. He also has a Masters degree in International Relations from the Barcelona Centre for International Affairs, a Masters degree in Hospital Management from ESADE Business School, and a Masters degree in Diplomacy and International Law from the Autonomous University of Barcelona. Furthermore, he holds a PhD in Diplomatic Relations from the Autonomous University of Barcelona. He is Doctor Honoris Causa in Moctezuma University. He has also been a visiting lecturer in several European universities, including the University of Barcelona, the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Rovira i Virgili University, the University of Alcalá de Henares, and the University of Budapest.

In 1982, Dr Pujante was appointed director of the healthcare services of the Baix Llobregat area. He was soon promoted to Primary Healthcare Coordinator of Catalonia. In 1986, while working at the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital, he was appointed deputy hospital director first and, subsequently, hospital director. In 1989, he was appointed General Secretary of the Catalan Health Institute and, in 1994, he became the International Healthcare Cooperation Director of the Catalan Health Institute.   In 2001, he became the Director of the Medical Emergencies System of Catalonia. Given his experience and qualifications, Dr Pujante was appointed Director of International Relations and Healthcare Cooperation of the Ministry of Health of the Government of Catalonia in 2003.

Dr Pujante was the chief executive of the 8th and 12th National Hospitals Congress and, between 1991 and 2001, President Designate of the International Hospital Federation. In addition, he is a member of the Royal Academy of Medicine and of the International Parliament for Safety and Peace. Since 1997, he acts as a consultant for the UN and has ambassador rank. Therefore, over the last 35 years, he has been part of several diplomatic, institutional and cooperation missions all over the world.

Dr Pujante has collaborated with the WHO for years. Moreover, he is a member of the Administration Board of several public companies (SEMSA, Consorci Sanitari Integral, Parc Sanitari Pere Virgili, Consorci Sanitari de Vic) and of the Board of Trustees of several foundations.  He is a member of the Catalan Cooperation for Development Council, of the Interdepartmental Cooperation Commission, of the Catalan Humanitarian and Emergency Aid Committee, of the Local Coordination Committee, of the Coordination Committee of Catalan Nationals Residing Abroad, of the Barcelona Sports Culture organisation, and of the Olympic Committee.

Dr Pujante is the President of Panathlon International Barcelona. Moreover, he has acted as an advisor for several multinational companies. He is the author of 20 published books. Three of his books received literary awards. In addition, he has participated as a presenting speaker in over 300 conferences in several countries. Furthermore, he has received 18 national and international honours for his work. In 1993, he was the first Spanish doctor to reach the top of Mount Everest. He was also the first Catalan athlete to receive the Olympic Order.

Date of appointment: 16 December 2015