Indian Scientist Soumya Swaminathan to Hold Second Highest Post in WHO
WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced his senior leadership team on Tuesday, appointing Dr Swaminathan to one of the two Deputy Director General posts.
The World Health Organization (WHO) logo is pictured at the entrance of its headquarters in Geneva. (Reuters)
New Delhi: Scientist, Dr Soumya Swaminathan has been appointed to the World Health Organisation as Deputy Director General for Programmes, the highest ever post held by an Indian.
WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced his senior leadership team on Tuesday, appointing Dr Swaminathan to one of the two Deputy Director General posts. It is the second highest post in the WHO, after that of the Director-General.
Jane Ellison, who was Special Parliamentary Adviser to the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, has been appointed as the Deputy Director General for Corporate Operations (DDC).
Swaminathan, currently the DG of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), and Secretary, Department of Health Research of the union health ministry, has a career spanning 30 years in public health. A paediatrician, she is known for her work on tuberculosis (TB), spearheading the international TB consortium that works to create more research and diagnostic tools to tackle the infectious bacterial disease.
Before ICMR, Swaminathan was director of the National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis, Chennai and has been the Co-Chair of the Lancet Commission on TB.
In a statement, the WHO said the new team, comprising individuals from 14 countries, “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 non-communicable diseases, climate and environmental health, and women’s, adolescents’ and children’s health.”
“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.
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