Bill Keough on how Africa grapples with vaccine distribution

This episode of The Vaccine Challenge is hosted by Priyanka Asera and features Bill Keough.

Bill Keough is the Director of the Institute for Supply Chain Development (ISCD), which provides leading-edge supply chain training for health professionals working in low-resource environments. ISCD combines online technologies and platforms with a unique pedagogical approach specifically designed to deliver quantifiable student learning outcomes. ISCD has completed projects for clients including UNICEF, VillageReach, USAID, the Africa Resource Centre, People that Deliver, GAVI, and others.

We asked Bill about the challenges in vaccine distribution in African countries where there is lower resources and a relatively less developed infrastructure

Questions answered include:

  • Vaccine distribution challenges are very different in countries with a lot of resources and solid infrastructure. What are some basic challenges in countries that don’t have enough resources and an infrastructure to support vaccine drives?
  • You’ve done a bunch of work with some African countries in their distribution efforts. Can you share some constraints and challenges they have to work with?
  • How is their supply chain set up for vaccine distribution?
  • Can you share a few interesting or creative initiatives that are happening in Africa?
  • Do interesting/unique ideas get shared and used in other countries with similar challenges? How can we make sure cross-border knowledge transfer happens?
  • Do you think anything will change in the world of vaccine distribution in low-income countries in the future as a result of this global pandemic?

About Bill

Bill Keough is the Director of the Institute for Supply Chain Development (ISCD), which provides leading-edge supply chain training for health professionals working in low-resource environments. ISCD combines online technologies and platforms with a unique pedagogical approach specifically designed to deliver quantifiable student learning outcomes. ISCD has completed projects for clients including UNICEF, VillageReach, USAID, the Africa Resource Centre, People that Deliver, GAVI, and others.

In 2010 Bill created the online Supply Chain Transportation and Logistics Master’s program at the University of Washington. Bill is currently a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (where the program is housed) and he serves as the program’s Managing Director. The program has consistently been ranked as one of the top 5 programs in the United States.

In addition to his role at the University of Washington, Bill’s teaching background includes work with Rice University, the University of Houston and the Global Supply Chain MBA program at the SP Jain Centre of Management, with campuses in Singapore and Dubai. He has taught executive education courses in Benchmarking & Performance Management for the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) and the Warehouse Education and Research Council (WERC). Bill publishes regularly in journals like the Supply Chain Management Review and speaks at supply chain industry conferences.

Bill’s private sector experience consist of more than 20 years as a management consultant in operations, enterprise technology, and supply chain management. Bill has held senior positions at IBM, Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) and Schlumberger; he currently also manages his own supply chain consulting firm, Keough Associates, which helps organizations improve the performance and cost-effectiveness of their supply chains.

Bill holds an undergraduate degree from Cornell University and a Master’s degree from the University of Houston. He speaks fluent French and Spanish.