WHO Board Nominates Former Hong Kong Health Director Chan for Director General Position
The World Health Organization's executive board on Wednesday nominated Margaret Chan, a former health director from Hong Kong and WHO's top infectious disease official, for the position of director general to replace Lee Jong-wook, according to diplomats, AFP/Yahoo! News reports. Lee died in May, two years before his term ended (Capella, AFP/Yahoo! News, 11/8) Chan would be the first Chinese national to be selected for a prominent U.N. post, according to delegates (Engeler, AP/Houston Chronicle, 11/8). During her campaign for WHO director general, Chan -- who has worked at WHO since 2003 -- said that if she were selected, she would focus on diseases such as HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis (Reuters AlertNet, 11/8). Chan also has said that she would be independent if appointed to the post (AP/Houston Chronicle, 11/8). The 34-member board's nomination will be submitted to the World Health Assembly, which is scheduled to convene for a special one-day session on Thursday to make a decision about whether to appoint Chan (WHO release, 11/8). The assembly needs to vote by a two-thirds majority to approve Chan's nomination (AP/Houston Chronicle, 11/8). The World Health Assembly has never rejected a director general nominee proposed by the executive board, according to the Wall Street Journal. If appointed, Chan's term would run until July 2012 (Mckay, Wall Street Journal, 11/8). Anders Nordstrom will continue to serve as acting director general until a candidate is selected (WHO release, 11/8).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.