This website uses cookies. By using our website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy. Read more - OK, thanks

Back to Latest News

Wednesday 31 May 2017
Dr. Adhanom Ghebreyesus appointed new Director-General of the WHO

A statement from The Union

Wednesday, 24 May 2017


The Member States of the World Health Organization (WHO) elected Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to a five-year term as the new Director-General of the WHO. Dr Tedros is a physician and former Minister of Health and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. The election took place at the Seventieth World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland.

“Dr Tedros is a proven leader who spearheaded massive improvements in Ethiopia’s healthcare system. His work to develop a national cadre of community health workers was a pioneering solution for improving public health that many other countries have since followed,” said José Luis Castro, Executive Director of the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union). “He has the credentials, the diplomatic skills, and the management experience to effectively lead the WHO during one of the most critical moments in its history.”

The new Director-General assumes leadership of the WHO at a time when there is widespread recognition that reforms are a priority. These include building a more effective and accountable management culture based on best practices; strengthening WHO’s capacity to monitor global health trends and threats in real time; and becoming better equipped to respond to crises and countries’ emerging health needs in a way that is tailored to local contexts and adds value to the resources that countries and partners already have. Overall, the new Director-General must steer the WHO to a stronger position where it delivers a balance of sound policy guidance and efficient, effective operations.

A healthy and effective WHO is needed now more than ever. The Union congratulates Dr Tedros and looks forward to working closely with him and the WHO throughout his tenure.

Read an opinion piece by the Union’s Executive Director, José Luis Castro, on the need for WHO reform