Milestones :: Perspectives
New WHO leadership team announced
3 October 2017 – This morning, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced his senior leadership team.
The new team includes former ministers of health, some of the world’s leading physicians, scientists and researchers, and programmatic experts in universal health coverage, health emergencies, communicable and noncommunicable diseases, climate and environmental health, and women’s, adolescents’ and children’s health. Individually and collectively, they have a wealth of experience across government, private sector, multilateral, civil society and academic organizations.
“The team represents 14 countries, including all WHO regions, and is more than 60% women, reflecting my deep-held belief that we need top talent, gender equity and a geographically diverse set of perspectives to fulfil our mission to keep the world safe,” said Dr Tedros.
:: Dr Soumya Swaminathan will be Deputy Director-General for Programmes and Jane Ellison will be Deputy Director-General for Corporate Operations.
Dr Soumya Swaminathan has more than 30 years of experience in clinical care, research and translating those findings into programs. She most recently served as Secretary of the Department of Health Research in India and as Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research.
Jane Ellison brings with her more than 30 years of experience in government, commerce and change management. Most recently, she was the Special Parliamentary Adviser to the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer. She also served as the UK’s Public Health Minister from 2014 to 2016.
In addition, Dr Peter Salama will remain in his role as the Executive Director of the Health Emergencies Programme.
The Assistant Director-General appointees are:
:: Dr Bernhard Schwartländer, Chef de Cabinet
:: Dr Naoko Yamamoto, Assistant Director-General for Universal Health Coverage and Health Systems Cluster
:: Professor Lubna A. Al-Ansary, Assistant Director-General for Metrics and Measurement
:: Dr Svetlana Akselrod, Assistant Director-General for Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health
: Ambassador Michèle Boccoz, Assistant Director-General for External Relations
:: Dr Ranieri Guerra, Assistant Director-General for Special Initiatives
:: Dr Ren Minghui, Assistant Director-General for Communicable Diseases
:: Dr Mariângela Batista Galvão Simão, Assistant Director-General for Drug Access, Vaccines and Pharmaceuticals
: Dr Princess Nothemba (Nono) Simelela, Assistant Director-General for Family, Women, Children and Adolescents
:: Mr Stewart Simonson, Assistant Director-General for General Management
: Dr Joy St John, Assistant Director-General for Climate and Other Determinants of Health
All of these appointees will be transitioning into their new roles over the next several weeks.
“I am thrilled to welcome this group of diverse, talented global health leaders to WHO and am grateful for the opportunity to work alongside them to ensure health for all.
“I also would like to acknowledge the work of my transition team, chaired by Dr Senait Fisseha, which has been instrumental not only in helping me seamlessly move into the Director-General role, but also in putting together this leadership team,” said Dr Tedros.
We include the bios of two appointees whose portfolios seems most closely aligned to our Center’s focus. Bio sketches of all appointees above are available here
Dr Ren Minghui, Assistant Director-General for Communicable Diseases
Dr Ren Minghui has served as WHO Assistant Director-General for HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases since January 2016 and is continuing this work under his new title Assistant Director General for Communicable Diseases. Prior to this role, he was Director-General for International Cooperation in the National Health and Family Planning Commission of the People’s Republic of China. He brings nearly 30 years of public health experience, working on health policy and health reform in China’s Ministry of Health, where he focused primarily on health systems research and health insurance reform. Later, his work focused on international health cooperation, during which time he led a number of health committees and programmes, working closely with international partners. As part of this work, he oversaw the development of the China-Africa health cooperation process, initiated health cooperation with BRICS countries, and engaged in regional health cooperation with ASEAN, APEC and countries of the Greater Mekong subregion. In addition, he has served as Vice-chair of WHO’s Executive Board, a member of the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board, and a representative of the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. Dr Ren is a medical doctor and holds a PhD in Social Medicine and Health and a Masters in Public Health.
Dr Mariângela Batista Galvão Simão, Assistant Director-General for Drug Access, Vaccines and Pharmaceuticals
Dr Mariângela Batista Galvão Simão from Brazil has been appointed Assistant Director-General for Drug Access, Vaccines and Pharmaceuticals. Most recently, she was Director of Community Support, Social Justice and Inclusion at UNAIDS. In addition to her work at UNAIDS, she brings more than 30 years of experience working in the Brazilian public health system and has played an active role in enhancing access and decentralizing health services in the country. Between 2006 and 2010, she served as Director of the National STD/AIDS and Viral Hepatitis Department in the Brazilian Ministry of Health, where she led successful price negotiations with pharmaceutical companies to lower the price of HIV medication. During this time, she also represented the Brazilian Ministry of Health in the negotiations that led to the constitution of UNITAID in 2006, including its governing body, where she served as a board member until 2008. She was trained as a pediatrician in Brazil and holds an MSc degree in public health from University of London, United Kingdom