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July 27, 2006

Who's Next at WHO?

Christine Gorman at Time Magazine speculates on the next leader of the World Health Organization: Who's Next at WHO? Excerpt:

Dr. Anders Nordstrom, a Swede, is filling the position in the interim, but in a mark of how desperate the organization is to fill the leadership void, a special election will be held for a new director-general on November 9.

Every country in the World Health Assembly—which includes almost everyone in the world—can nominate a candidates, who will then be winnowed down by the WHO's executive board before the assembly votes.

Contenders have already begun emerging, and today China nominated a candidate who may very well have the inside track: Dr. Margaret Chan, the WHO's current Director for Communicable Disease Surveillance and Response, and the organization's point person on pandemic influenza.

Before she joined the WHO in 2003, Chan was the Director of Health in Hong Kong from 1994, where she oversaw the local response to the world's original outbreak of H5N1 avian flu in 1997, and endured the SARS crisis in 2003.

She's smart, popular and—as I know from having interviewed her a few times—considerably more personable than the average WHO administrator.

Posted by dymaxion at July 27, 2006 10:10 PM

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