The World Health Organization (WHO)
today announced changes in responsibility for several senior managers. The changes come
nearly two years after WHO Director-General Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland took office in July
"In the initial period of my tenure, we concentrated on putting a
new management structure in place and in developing a cohesive strategy for the
Organization. The consolidation which will now take place is aimed at taking advantage of
letting several programmes work more closely together. Moreover, we need to free up
additional technical expertise for priority areas presented to, and endorsed by, the
Executive Board," said Dr Brundtland.
The Noncommunicable Diseases (NCD) and Social Change and Mental Health
(HSC) Clusters are to be merged. Dr Derek Yach, current Programme Manager for the Tobacco
Free Initiative, will become Executive Director of the combined Cluster.
Dr Jie Chen, current Executive Director for the NCD Cluster, is
appointed Special Representative of the Director-General on Health Systems Development in
Large Developing Countries. Dr Chen will report to the Director-General and work closely
with the cluster of Evidence and Information for Policy (EIP). Dr Yasuhiro Suzuki, current
Executive Director of the HSC cluster, will become Executive Director of the Health
Technology and Pharmaceuticals (HTP) cluster. Dr Michael Scholtz, current Executive
Director of HTP, is appointed Special Representative of the Director-General in charge of
working with the private sector on improved access to drugs and vaccines. He will report
to the Director-General. The changes will take effect Monday 13 March.
In the other senior management changes, Dr David Nabarro, current
Programme Manager for the Roll Back Malaria Initiative, will become head of the
Sustainable Development and Healthy Environments (SDE) Cluster on 1 July. Dr Nabarro will
replace Mrs Poonam Singh, current Executive Director, who is taking up the post of
Director of Programme Management at WHO's Regional Office for Southeast Asia (SEARO).
At SEARO, Mrs Singh is expected to play an active role in that WHO Region's reform
"The new appointments play to my team's technical and
managerial strengths. I am in favour of rotation and mobility of my staff, including at a
senior level, allowing a sharing of experiences and renewed inspiration for our
work," said Dr Brundtland.
For further information, journalists can contact Mr Gregory Hartl WHO Spokesperson,
WHO, Geneva, tel (+41 22) 791 4458, mobile (+41 79) 203 6715, fax
(+41 22) 791 4858. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
All WHO Press Releases, Fact Sheets and Features can be obtained on Internet on the WHO
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