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United Nations Foundation Welcomes Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as the New Director-General of the World Health Organization

Washington, D.C. —   May 23, 2017

Today, during the 70th World Health Assembly, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Health of Ethiopia, was elected as the new Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO). Dr. Tedros, as he is known, will succeed current WHO Director-General Margaret Chan starting July 1, 2017. The United Nations Foundation works closely with WHO to advance solutions on a number of global health challenges, including protecting children from measles and rubella, ending polio and malaria, strengthening global health security, expanding access to clean energy to improve health, and enhancing the health and well-being of women, children, and adolescents. United Nations Foundation President and CEO Kathy Calvin welcomed Dr. Tedros with the following statement:

“Dr. Tedros is a respected leader who has committed his life to tackling complex global health challenges, from strengthening health systems to combatting diseases like malaria, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis. The UN Foundation looks forward to working with Dr. Tedros as the new Director-General of the World Health Organization to further WHO’s mission to create a healthier future for people all over the world and help advance the health-related Sustainable Development Goals.

“As Ethiopia’s Minister of Health and a passionate advocate for universal health care, Dr. Tedros transformed Ethiopia’s health system to expand quality of care and access to millions of Ethiopians, including training and deploying more than 40,000 health extension workers to some of the most remote and hardest to reach areas. Dr. Tedros is a skilled diplomat and a visionary leader who will ensure WHO is ready to respond to the greatest health challenges of our time. 

“WHO serves as the global guardian of public health, with unparalleled access and reach around the world to prevent, detect, and respond to health threats that extend beyond borders. With Dr. Tedros’ leadership and sustained support from all countries, WHO will continue to grow stronger in its ability to address disease outbreaks and other health emergencies, advance progress on the Sustainable Development Goals, and foster a better, healthier future for people everywhere.”

In addition to his service as Ethiopia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Health, Dr. Tedros has extensive multilateral experience. He has served as Chair of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, and the Coordinating Board of UNAIDS. He has also served as Co-Chair of The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health and served on the Boards of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), and the Stop TB Partnership. 

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About the United Nations Foundation

The United Nations Foundation builds public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and broadens support for the United Nations through advocacy and public outreach. Through innovative campaigns and initiatives, the Foundation connects people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The Foundation was created in 1998 as a U.S. public charity by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner and now is supported by philanthropic, corporate, government, and individual donors. Learn more at: www.unfoundation.org.