Global Fund Board Selects New Executive Director
The board of the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has selected Michel Kazatchkine -- France's global ambassador for HIV/AIDS and communicable diseases and a former Global Fund vice chair -- to serve as the organization's new executive director, spokesperson Jon Liden said on Thursday, the AP/International Herald Tribune reports (AP/International Herald Tribune, 2/8). The Global Fund in November 2006 called off plans to name a new executive director to succeed Richard Feachem -- whose contract ends in March -- and launched a new search. Board members at closed meetings in November 2006 were unable to agree on one of two finalists. At that time, the final two candidates were Kazatchkine and Michel Sidibe, director of UNAIDS' country and regional support department, according to meeting participants. Sidibe withdrew his candidacy for the position. According to a previous report, a nomination committee in January named nine candidates for the executive direction position. Three final candidates were named last month (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 1/31). The board's official vote tally is not immediately available, Liden said, adding that Kazatchkine received the two-third majority required for approval (AP/International Herald Tribune, 2/8). "I look forward to handing over a strong institution that is positively impacting tens of millions of lives in 136 countries," Feachem said, adding, "Under Dr. Kazatchkine's leadership, the Global Fund is in excellent hands and its life saving work will continue to expand." Carol Jacobs, chair of the Global Fund board, said, "This is a new period in the life of the Global Fund and we are indeed fortunate to have Professor Kazatchkine lead the secretariat at the start of the fund's second five-year cycle. He has a right blend of skills and experience needed to manage this unique financial institution" (Global Fund release, 2/8).
Global Fund Should Manage Administrative Expenses, Prioritize Governance, Editorial Says
"Almost nobody ... said a bad word about" the Global Fund "until this week" when the Boston Globe reported on an internal inspector general investigation into the business expense practices of the Global Fund's executive director, a Los Angeles Times editorial says. According to the Times, the Global Fund's new executive director will "start the job under a cloud of suspicion." That is a "pity because the allegations, at least so far, don't seem all that serious," the editorial adds. "Given the size of its operations," the Global Fund's "administrative expenses are relatively modest," the editorial says, concluding that the Global Fund board should "get a handle on this controversy by making governance matters a priority. The Global Fund lives or dies on its reputation -- and so do the millions of people in Africa and across the developing world who need its services" (Los Angeles Times, 2/8).