Ethiopian Dr Ghebreyesus elected new WHO Director-General

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Members States of the World Health Organization (WHO) have elected Ethiopian Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as the new Director-General of the UN health agency.

Dr Ghebreyesus was nominated by the Government of Ethiopia, and will begin his five-year term on 1 July 2017.

He will succeed Dr Margaret Chan, who has been WHO’s Director-General since 1 January 2007 and has completed her two five-year terms.

Prior to his election, Dr Ghebreyesus served as Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia from 2012-2016 and as Minister of Health from 2005-2012.

He has also served as chair of the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; as chair of the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership Board, and as co-chair of the Board of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health.

Dr Ghebreyesus was chosen from among three nominees presented to the World Health Assembly, along with David Nabarro from the UK, and Sania Nishtar from Pakistan, in a process that began before September 2016.

In her final address as head of the organization, Dr. Chan urged WHO to “remember the people” behind the facts and figures, and took personal responsibility for the WHO’s delayed response in 2014 to the Ebola outbreak in East Africa.

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