Dr. J Carolyn Gomes

Dr. J Carolyn Gomes

Dr. J Carolyn Gomes is the Special Advisor on External Relations, ProActividad;
Co-Chair of The Caribbean Centre for Human Rights and Board Member of The Developing Country NGO Delegation to the Global Fund Board.
A medical doctor since 1980, Dr. Gomes worked in public and private medicine in Trinidad and Jamaica, served as the Executive of the Paediatric Association of Jamaica, and was a paediatrician in private practice until 2002 when she gave up practice to work full time on issues of human rights. From 2002-2013, Dr. Gomes was Executive Director of Jamaicans For Justice (JFJ), a non-profit, Citizens’ Rights Action Group which she helped found in 1999, and led to become a nationally, regionally and internationally recognized organization advocating against State abuse of rights and strengthening legislative and other provisions for the protection of rights.
Her work on human rights was recognized by the United Nations in 2008 and she was conferred with the Order of Jamaica (the nation’s 3rd highest honour) in 2009.

Getting recognised on a global platform for the phenomenal contribution to the service of humanity is what nurses deserve. I am glad about the launch of Aster Guardians, the time has finally come.


Mr. Howard Catton

Mr. Howard Catton has held the position of Chief Executive Officer of the International Council of Nurses (ICN), Geneva since February 2019. Throughout his career, Howard has worked and written extensively on issues relating to the nursing and healthcare workforce, promoted the well-being of nurses and co-chaired the first ever State of the World’s Nursing Report.
Howard qualified as a Registered Nurse in 1988 and held a variety of nursing posts in England and the United States and worked for the New Zealand Nurses Organisation. He studied Social Policy at Cardiff University (BSc. Economics Hons) and Industrial Relations at Warwick University (MA) and then worked as a Personnel and Organisational Change Manager in the National Health Service in the UK.
In December 2019 the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland appointed Howard as Fellow of the Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery.
In July 2021 Howard was awarded the Paul Harris Fellowship by the Rotary Club International organisation in recognition of his extraordinary service to the nursing community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As ICN CEO I know how nurses are leading health improvement right around the world and the Aster Guardians initiative is both recognizing and rewarding global excellence in nursing.”

Prof. James Buchan

Professor James Buchan

Prof. James Buchan is an Adjunct Professor at the WHO Collaborating Centre for Nursing, University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), Australia; and a Visiting Professor at the School of Nursing, University of Edinburgh, Scotland. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Health Foundation, London.
Prof. Buchan has specialized in nursing workforce policy. His background includes periods working at a senior level in government in Scotland and Australia; and as senior policy adviser for the Royal College of Nursing, (RCN), UK. He has also worked for WHO in Geneva and Copenhagen. In recent years, he has had extensive experience as a consultant on nursing workforce policy and planning, in Europe, the Americas, the Gulf, Asia and the Pacific, for governments and international agencies. He is Editor in Chief of “Human Resources for Health”, the peer reviewed journal affiliated with WHO.

“Nurses are the beating heart of our healthcare system and have led with such commitment and effectiveness during one of the most challenging times known to mankind. We as a community need to acknowledge their contribution more holistically and I am glad to be associated with Aster Guardians in this endeavour.”

Dr. Muralee Thummarukudy

Dr. Muralee Thummarukudy is the Director of the Coordination Office of the G20 Global Initiative in Bonn, Germany.

He has over three decades of progressive senior management experience and technical expertise in Environment and Disaster Management around the world. He has most recently served as the acting Head of the Disasters and Conflicts Programme at the United Nations Environment Programme, where he implemented a portfolio of over 100 million USD, focusing on ecosystem-based disaster reduction and partnership development.

An internationally renowned expert in disaster response, he played a key role in addressing the environmental aftermath of many major conflicts and disasters, implementing projects in over 35 countries. Prior to joining the United Nations, Dr. Thummarukudy served as Environmental Advisor to Shell Group in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. He has a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur. He was also a Beahr’s fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. He has travelled around the world and worked in some of the most challenging places.

“Nurses are in the frontline for disaster management and pandemic response globally. I am delighted to be part of the Grand Jury.”

Prof. Sheila Tlou

Professor Sheila Tlou

Prof. Sheila Tlou is the Co-chairperson of the Global HIV Prevention Coalition and is the Ex-Minister of Health & Member of Parliament of the Government of Botswana. She is also appointed by the president of Botswana to serve as the titular Head of the
Botswana Open University. She was the director of the Regional Support Team for Eastern and Southern Africa of the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), Johannesburg. She also served as Chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Ministers of Health, and the African Union Ministers of Health.
She has made outstanding achievements in the development of the nursing profession both in her own country and abroad. She published numerous articles and books on international health and development issues.
Prof. Tlou has received several international awards, including the 2003 Florence Nightingale Medal by the International Committee of the Red Cross and the 2008 Presidential Award for Outstanding Contribution to Global Health by the American Academy of Nursing. In 2016, she won the President’s Award for US National League for Nursing and in 2020 she was listed among the 100 Most Reputable Africans, by Reputation Poll International.

The time has come for nurses to be recognised for their leadership in managing the first line of defense in healthcare. I am overjoyed to be part of the jury of this important award that will make history.”