Media centre

Election process for the new WHO Director-General

News Release

Six candidates have been proposed by Member States of the World Health Organization (WHO) for the position of WHO Director-General.

Member States proposed the following candidates:

  • The Government of Ethiopia has submitted the nomination of Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus;
  • The Government of Italy has submitted the nomination of Dr Flavia Bustreo;
  • The Government of France has submitted the nomination of Professor Philippe Douste-Blazy;
  • The Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has submitted the nomination of Dr David Nabarro;
  • The Government of Pakistan has submitted the nomination of Dr Sania Nishtar;
  • The Government of Hungary has submitted the nomination of Dr Miklós Szócska.

The deadline for proposals closed on 22 September 2016. Since 22 April 2016, WHO's 194 Member States have had the opportunity to propose candidates.

The Director-General is WHO’s chief technical and administrative officer and oversees WHO’s international health work. The current Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan, was appointed in 2006 and will complete her second term on 30 June next year.

On 1-2 November, a forum will be held for candidates to present their visions to WHO Member States, and the public, and answer questions from Member States on their candidacy. The forum will be webcast in all UN languages on the WHO website: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.

In January 2017, WHO’s Executive Board will draw up a shortlist with a maximum of 5 candidates. Executive Board members will then interview these candidates and nominate up to 3 to go forward for consideration by the World Health Assembly in May 2017, when Member States will vote in a new Director-General. Previously, just 1 nomination was submitted by WHO’s Executive Board to the World Health Assembly, which then made the final appointment.

The new Director-General will take office on 1 July 2017.

Note to editors

The World Health Assembly is the decision-making body of WHO. It is attended by delegations from all WHO Member States. The main functions of the World Health Assembly are to determine the policies of the Organization, appoint the Director-General, supervise financial policies, and review and approve the proposed programme budget.

The Executive Board is composed of 34 technically qualified members elected for 3-year terms. The Board meets twice a year: in January, when the members agree upon the agenda and the resolutions to be considered by the World Health Assembly, and again in May following the Assembly.

For more information, please contact:

media@who.int

Further information: