Havas Health & You (HH&Y) is bringing back a familiar face to take on a newly created role.

The New York-based agency announced Thursday that Afshan Rizvi Hussain has been appointed MD and global rare disease lead for the network.

For Hussain, this is a homecoming of sorts as she started her agency career at H4B Catapult, Havas subsidiary.

In the decade since her departure, Hussain also held leadership positions at other noteworthy medical marketing agencies, including Cline Davis & Mann, Klick Health, FCBCure and Fishawack Health. 

Most recently, she led the rare disease focus at Avalere Health, where she oversaw the disease education in IgA nephropathy and successfully positioned a portfolio of treatments for pulmonary arterial hypertension. 

In this position at HH&Y, Hussain will be charged with leading the agency’s interactions with rare disease communities and optimizing its clients’ rare disease commercialization efforts. 

“Afshan has dedicated her career to developing a very robust understanding of rare disease communities and shining a light on underrepresented communities,” said Daniel Rubin, Group President North America at HH&Y, in a statement. “Her passion for rare diseases demonstrates her unwavering commitment to serving others and will undoubtedly help our clients create more impactful work. I am thrilled to welcome her back as a part of our leadership team.”

In addition to her full-time agency work, Hussain is a respected industry voice and thought leader contributing to the Forbes Business Council, Harvard Business Review Advisory Council, as well as a member of the women networking organization Chief.

Additionally, in her role as GM of rare disease at Fishawack Health, she was named an MM+M Woman of Distinction in 2022.

“Over the past decade, I have focused my career on serving the underserved. Together with our clients and the vast and integrated resources of Havas, we can truly enhance health outcomes and patients’ lives,” Hussain said in a statement. “My goal with this role is to make a meaningful difference within the rare disease community; to help them feel more empowered and to be able to effectively support them with the work that we do.”  

For a February 2024 article on Havas debuting Havas Consumer Health, click here.