Awad Mataria is the Director of “Universal Health Coverage/Health Systems” at the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean. He has more than eighteen years of experience in health systems, health economics and health financing. For the last thirteenyears, Dr Mataria supported countries of the Eastern Mediterranean Region to reform their health systems with focus on health financing reforms to move towards Universal Health Coverage. With COVID-19, Dr Mataria got interested in clarifying the conceptual linkages between Universal Health Coverage and Health Security through a health system strengthening lens. Since his early life, and throughout his professional career, Dr Mataria developed special interest in working in fragile and conflict-affected settings. Dr Mataria has a Ph.D. in Health Economics and a Masters in Health Systems Analysis, following his undergraduate degree in Pharmacy. His areas of expertise are: Universal Health Coverage; health systems financing and organization; Social Health Insurance; using economics in health care priority setting; measuring the benefits of health care mainly using stated preferences techniques; economic evaluation of health care interventions; and National Health Accounts. Dr Mataria has several publications in high impact journal, including, Journal of Health Economics, Health Economics and The Lancet; and is the second editor of a landmark Book on: “Making Health Systems Work in Low and Middle Income Countries”,released by Cambridge University Press on 29 Dec 2022. He has also presented at several international and regional conferences. Dr Mataria is fluent in three languages: English,French and Arabic (mother-tongue).