PMNCH honours Board Chair and announces new Acting Chair
As you might be aware, Mrs. Joy Phumaphi, Chair of the Partnership for the past two years, has left her position at The World Bank to return to her home country Botswana for personal reasons. Regrettably, she has also left the Partnership as Board Chair. On behalf of the Board and membership of the Partnership, I would like to thank Mrs. Phumaphi for the leadership, wisdom and commitment she brought to the Partnership. She has led our Board through a number of critical steps, resulting in a fundamental revision to the way the Partnership goes about its business. She has also created remarkable opportunities for the Partnership.
During Mrs. Phumaphi's leadership, her vision and dedication have contributed enormously to the positioning of maternal, newborn and child health issues at the centre of the development debate. Indeed we have seen MDGs 4 & 5 emerge at the forefront of the global agenda during these past several years. Her creative energy and her understanding of partnerships and how they work -- as well as her grasp of economic development and health systems -- were used with admirable ease throughout her Chairship.
Mrs. Phumaphi's wealth of experience, gained throughout a remarkable career in the areas of development and public health, has been evident throughout her tenure as Board Chair. She served as Vice-President and Head of the Human Development Network at The World Bank, where she worked since February 2006. Prior to that she served as Assistant Director General of the World Health Organization's Family and Community Health Cluster and during this time helped to launch the Partnership. Before joining the WHO, Mrs. Phumaphi held the position Minister of Health in Botswana, heading her country's response to the HIV/AIDS crisis from 1999 to 2003.
Mrs. Phumaphi has led the Partnership through a period of transformation, bringing changes to the structure and functions of the Partnership and placing partners at the centre of the collective efforts of the organization. These efforts have resulted in a more cohesive Board, renewed commitment from partners and increased credibility of the Partnership in the global health arena. Mrs. Phumaphi was also central to the efforts that placed the Partnership at the successful high-level events dedicated to maternal, newborn and child health at the UN General Assembly in 2008 and 2009, partnering with other global initiatives such as the High-Level Task Force for Innovative Financing, and firmly placing the concept of accountability which encompasses our responsibility in tracking commitments and progress.
We wish Ms Phumaphi all the best in her new endeavors and thank her most sincerely for her tireless energy and dedication to the improvement of women and children's lives.
Dr Flavia Bustreo