Global Fund Announces Leadership Changes, New Funding

[Editor’s Note: The Global Fund released separate announcements last week on leadership changes and new funding commitments which are distilled below, each with links to the associated full text]

   The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria announced that it will appoint Gabriel Jaramillo as General Manager, “a newly created position intended to oversee a process of transformation as it accelerates the fight against the three pandemics by focusing on its management of risk and grants.” Mr. Jaramillo, a former Chairman and CEO of Sovereign Bank, “has more than 35 years of experience in executive positions in the financial sector, where he won broad recognition as a highly skilled leader and administrator with impeccable integrity. Since he retired a year ago, he has served as a Special Advisor to the Office of the Special Envoy for Malaria of the Secretary General of the United Nations, and was a Member of the High-Level, Independent Panel that looked at the Global Fund’s fiduciary controls and oversight mechanisms.” The announcement noted that the Global Fund’s Board in November “approved a Consolidated Transformation Plan to address the findings of the Panel, along with a new, ambitious, four-year strategy and decided to appoint a General Manager to oversee this transformation. The General Manager will report to the Board, and will assume full executive responsibilities for the Global Fund.”

Mr. Jaramillo commented, “My priorities at the Global Fund are to achieve maximum efficiency, accountability and concrete results that save lives. In essence, we will start with a reorganization that emphasizes simplicity, discipline and rigor, with grant-management as the core activity of the institution.” Mr. Jaramillo is described as a native of Colombia and a Brazilian citizen. He studied at California State University, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in marketing and a Master’s degree in Business Administration.  Over the next three decades, “he excelled as a manager at successive institutions, including Marine Midland Bank, Citibank, Banco Santander and Sovereign Bank, where he became Chairman and CEO in 2009.  He retired from that position in January 2011, and remained as Chairman until June 2011.” Mr. Jaramillo will take up a 12-month appointment on 1 February 2012.

    The Global Fund announced that Executive Director Michel Kazatchkine “has decided to step down in mid-March after leading the organization for five years, during which time he oversaw a dramatic expansion in the organization’s life-saving work.” In a statement to staff, Prof. Kazatchkine said, “For the last ten years, the Global Fund has been my passion and my most important undertaking. I am immensely proud of what the Global Fund has achieved in these ten years, and I am tremendously grateful that I have been able to play a central part in its evolution and success.”  Prof. Kazatchkine also said that “while he respects the Board’s decision to appoint a General Manager and ‘trusts that it was made in the best interests of the Global Fund,’ he has concluded that he should not continue as Executive Director in these circumstances.” Prof. Kazatchkine concluded, “I am committed to an orderly transition and I will do all that I can to ensure that the Global Fund emerges from it as a stronger organization.” Global Fund Board Chair Simon Bland said, “Few individuals have played a more central role in the creation and evolution of the Global Fund than Michel. The Global Fund as we know it today, the millions of lives it has saved, and the many other successes and innovations with which the Fund is associated, all bear Michel’s imprint.  Most importantly, his unwavering commitment to health, to human rights and to supporting the weakest and the unprotected, has helped shape the Global Fund into the beacon of hope it is today for tens of millions of people around the world.”
Read Message from the Executive Director to Staff and Partners
Read Message from Chair of the Board to the Board of the Global Fund

GAVI congratulates Michel Kazatchkine on a great decade with The Global Fund

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation renewed its commitment to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria via a US$750 million promissory note, described as a “a new and innovative funding mechanism…(which) gives the Global Fund the flexibility and authority to distribute funds efficiently based on immediate needs, leading to greater impact.” The announced said the Global Fund “continues to save 100,000 lives a month. The Fund has provided antiretroviral treatment to 3.3 million people, detected and treated 8.2 million people with tuberculosis, and provided 230 million bed nets to families to prevent malaria.”

   The Global Fund said it welcomed the recent announcement by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia of a contribution worth US$25 million. The contribution, to be paid in full by 2013, will bring the total contribution from Saudi Arabia to the Global Fund in the decade since it was established to US$53 million. The announcement by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia came in a letter to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in response to an appeal Mr. Ban had made on the Global Fund’s behalf. Saudi Arabia is described as one of the main donors from the Gulf region to the Global Fund. In the Middle-East and North Africa, the Global Fund is currently supporting 20 countries and territories in their fight against HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis and malaria.