3 finalists named for the WHO director-general job

The World Health Organization narrowed five candidates down to three for the post of WHO director-general on Wednesday.

Five candidates were interviewed by member states Wednesday, and then the WHO executive board cut the field to three. They are:

  • Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD. Dr. Tedros is a politician from Ethiopia who has served as that nation's minister of health and minister of foreign affairs, among other roles. His PhD is in community health and he also holds a master's degree in immunology of infectious diseases.
  • Dr. David Nabarro. Dr. Nabarro, from the United Kingdom, has held key roles within the United Nations since 2005 and has also worked within the WHO for decades. He holds a medical degree form Oxford University as well as a master's in public health and a master's in medicine.
  • Sania Nishtar, PhD. Dr. Nishtar, from Pakistan, is the founder and president of Heartfile, an NGO think tank that focuses on how to improve Pakistan's health system. She has also worked with the Pakistan government as a federal minister. Her PhD is in medicine from Kings College London.

All WHO member states will vote on the three nominees at the World Health Assembly in May, and the new director-general will take office on July 1.

The new chief will replace Dr. Margaret Chan, who was elected to the post in 2006 and served two terms, with her most recent term ending at the end of June.

Dr. Chan led the WHO through several rough patches, including a response to the 2014 Ebola epidemic, which has been criticized for being slow. The WHO promised reform in response to those criticisms.

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