WHO launches search for new leader for first time in over a decade

As Director General Margaret Chan, MD, nears the end of her second term, the World Health Organization is seeking a new leader.

As of April 22, member states can nominate candidates to be the new head of the WHO. The nominations occur in the first step in the election process, which will culminate in a final round of voting at the World Health Assembly in May 2017. The new director general will take office July 1, 2017.

The director general is the WHO's chief technical and administrative officer and oversees policy for the organization's international health work. Dr. Chan, who was elected to the role in 2006, will complete her second term on June 30, 2017. She ran unopposed for her second term in 2012, according to STAT.

The process for nominating and appointing WHO's director general has been significantly revised since the last election in 2012. A new code of conduct and forums for candidates to interact with member states will be included in the election process to promote transparency and fairness in the selection procedures.

The WHO will appoint the new director general in 2017 among three candidates, at most.

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