WHO Selects Five Finalists for Director General Position
The World Health Organization on Monday selected five finalists for the position of director general to replace Lee Jong-wook -- who died in May, two years before his term ended -- the Wall Street Journal reports. Margaret Chan, a former health director from Hong Kong and WHO's top infectious disease official, received the most votes in all five voting rounds by WHO's 34-member executive board, according to sources close to the board. Shigeru Omi, WHO's regional director for the Western Pacific, consistently received the second-highest number of votes, and Mexican Health Minister Julio Frenk received the third highest, according to the Journal. The other two finalists are Kazem Behbehani, WHO's deputy director, and Spanish Health Minister Elena Salgado Mendez (McKay, Wall Street Journal, 11/7). The board on Tuesday is scheduled to interview the five finalists about how they would tackle global health issues, including HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis (McKay, Dow Jones, 11/6). The board on Wednesday is scheduled to select a new director general (Wall Street Journal, 11/7). Some prominent public health officials have said they are concerned that whoever is selected as the agency's new director general will not be in a position to act independently because of influence from the U.S. -- WHO's biggest donor -- on such issues as drug access and sexual health policy (AP/The Hindu, 11/7).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.