Director-General's Office

Executive Director
Dr Peter Salama, Executive Director of Health Emergencies Programme

Peter Salama, Executive Director – Health Emergencies Programme

Dr Peter Salama, a medical epidemiologist from Australia, has served as Executive Director of the Health Emergencies Programme since 2016. Before joining WHO, Dr Salama was UNICEF’s Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa. Prior to these recent assignments, Dr Salama led UNICEF’s global response to Ebola, served as UNICEF Representative in Ethiopia and Zimbabwe (2009–2015), UNICEF’s Chief of Global Health and Principal Advisor on HIV/AIDS in New York (2004–2009), and UNICEF’s Chief of Health and Nutrition in Afghanistan (2002–2004). Prior to joining UNICEF in 2002, Dr Salama was visiting scientist at the International Emergency and Refugee Health Branch at the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and a visiting professor in nutrition at Tufts University. He has also worked with Médecins Sans Frontières and Concern Worldwide in several countries in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

Dr Salama has led research and published extensively on maternal and newborn child health, vaccine-preventable diseases, HIV, nutrition, war-related mortality and violence, refugee and emergency health, and programming in fragile states. He completed his medical and public health degrees at Melbourne and Harvard Universities, where he was also a Fulbright and Harkness fellow in public policy.

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