Council Commentary

World Health Organization Elects Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as New Director-General

The Population Council congratulates Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus for his election as the new Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO). Dr. Tedros served as Ethiopia’s Minister of Health (2005-2012) and Minister of Foreign Affairs (2012-2016). He will become the first person from Africa to lead the agency.

Dr. Tedros has been widely recognized for his successes in strengthening Ethiopia’s health system and reducing deaths from AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and other infectious diseases in the country. He has championed reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health at home and around the world.

“We wish Dr. Tedros the best of luck in his new role and encourage him to continue to be a champion of girls and women on the global stage,” said Julia Bunting, President, Population Council.

The Council joined 122 civil society organizations in a welcome letter to Dr. Tedros through the Women’s Global Network for Reproductive Rights.

Dr. Tedros has committed to needed WHO reform and increased transparency. He confronts a political climate that endangers global health and development progress, particularly related to women’s health and rights. In his new post, the Population Council encourages Dr. Tedros to continue the advancement of the health and rights of the world’s most vulnerable and underserved people. The Population Council looks forward to continuing its long-standing partnership with the WHO to “build a better, healthier future for people all over the world.”

Now more than ever, the WHO and global community must prioritize evidence-based global health and place girls and women at the center of development.

Read more at WHO.