Chilean President, Michelle Bachelet to Chair PMNCH Board

11 JANUARY 2018 | Geneva

WHO

We are thrilled to announce that H.E. Ms Michelle Bachelet Jeria, President of the Republic of Chile has accepted the role as our new Board Chair.

Ms Bachelet is a long-time advocate for the rights of women and children in Latin America and holds a Medical Degree with a specialization in Surgery, Paediatrics and Public Health. She became Chile's first female president in 2006 following a term as Health Minister, where she laid the foundation for an overhaul of the Chilean healthcare system. Throughout her two tenures as president (2006 and 2013), she prioritized women's and children’s issues and was a champion for protecting the most vulnerable. President Bachelet will conclude her presidential term in Chile in March 2018, after which she will take on this voluntary role for PMNCH, among other activities.

Helga Fogstad, Director, PMNCH said, “This is a major honour for PMNCH and the first time a sitting president has joined us as Board leader. Ms Bachelet’s tireless commitment and unwavering belief in women’s, children’s and adolescents’ right to life, health and equality along with the work she does through her role as Every Woman Every Child High-Level Steering Group co-chair, makes her our ideal choice to continue the important mission of PMNCH. With her at the helm, we will continue to build upon our successes over the years and carry this strong momentum into 2018 and beyond, as we work towards achieving the vision of the Global Strategy for Women’s Children’s and Adolescents’ Health.”

Ms Bachelet was the first Executive Director of UN Women in New York (2011-2013)) and is currently a co-chair of the High-Level Steering Group for Every Woman Every Child (EWEC) with United Nations Secretary General António Guterres and H.E. Mr Hailemariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of Ethiopia. This group was appointed by the UN Secretary- General to help provide leadership and inspire ambitious action for women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health In support of the Sustainable Development Goals. Ms Bachelet has also been a driving force behind the July 2017 launch of the Latin American regional network of Every Woman Every Child, supported by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and other partners.

After her first term as President in 2010 she served as president of a joint-initiative with the International Labour Organization and the World Health Organization.

President Bachelet will take up the Chair for PMNCH in April, joining us for our next board meeting expected in June 2018.