Dr. Tedros Adhanom among Finalists for Post of WHO Director-General

The 3 finalist (Photo: AFP & Getty Images)

The WHO Executive Board selected by vote the following 3 candidates to be presented to World Health Assembly as nominees for the post of Director-General of WHO.

Five candidates were interviewed by Member States today prior to the vote. The names of the 3 nominees were announced at a public meeting on Wednesday evening, 25 January 2017.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, 51, of Ethiopia, Dr. Sania Nishtar, 53, of Pakistan, and Dr. David Nabarro, 67, of Britain were selected as finalists in the competition to replace Dr. Margaret Chan, whose second term of office ends June 30. Their voting tallies were in that order, sources told STAT.

Knocked out of contention were Dr. Flavia Bustreo, 55, of Italy, a WHO assistant director-general, and France’s Dr. Philippe Douste-Blazy, 64, at one point considered a strong contender for the job.

Tedros — a former health and foreign affairs minister from Ethiopia, he is known by his first name — has the support of the African Union, potentially a bloc of 54 votes at the World Health Assembly. His is the only non-physician among the candidates; he has a PhD in community health.

Nabarro has spent much of his career in first the WHO and then the United Nations. He is currently the special adviser to the UN secretary general on sustainable development and climate change.

Nishtar is a former health minister from Pakistan with extensive experience both nationally and internationally in the civil society sector.

All Member States will choose among the 3 nominees by vote at the World Health Assembly in May 2017. The new Director-General will take office on 1 July 2017.

Sources: who.org & Stat.news