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WHO exodus as nearly half of Tedros’ senior management leaves

NOV. 24, 2022

BY JENNY LEI RAVELO AND AMRUTA BYATNAL

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced Tuesday the names of his senior management team members who will leave the organization at the end of the month in an email sent to staff and seen by Devex. This puts an end to speculation and rumors that have been swirling in Geneva for months.

· Several people working in global health and WHO staffers have long known about the leadership changes. Dr. Soumya Swaminathan confirmed her departure last week, and Assistant Director-General on Drug Access, Vaccines and Pharmaceuticals Dr. Mariângela Simão has reportedly told several people that she’s leaving WHO ahead of the announcement.

· But some of the names came as a surprise, such as Dr. Jaouad Mahjour. He’s the one overseeing the pandemic treaty negotiations and the process to reform the International Health Regulations for WHO. “It will be interesting to see whom Dr. Tedros appoints to take over from Dr. Mahjour — at this critical juncture,” says Thiru Balasubramaniam, Geneva representative of Knowledge Ecology International.

· Some, meanwhile, expressed hope that the work started by Dr. Princess Nothemba Simelela in addressing racism at the World Health Organization will continue. “[S]he was leading a transformational agenda on eliminating racism in the WHO with training sessions for WHO staff, and would really like to see this work continue,” Fifa Rahman, a civil society representative with ACT-A, tells Jenny. Rahman is also hoping incoming senior officials will have the same “sense of pragmatism and passion for equitable access to medical technologies,” as Swaminathan and Simão exemplified in their work at WHO.

· The biggest question is: Who will be replacing these departing senior officials? To date, only former French Ambassador for Global Health Stephanie Seydoux has announced joining the organization as its new envoy for multilateral affairs, replacing Agnès Buzyn.

· Some also wonder if Tedros will make any changes to the current management structure. In 2019, he created new positions, such as the assistant director-general for data, analytics, and delivery position currently held by Dr. Samira Asma.

Inside Development
Global Health

2 thoughts on “WHO exodus as nearly half of Tedros’ senior management leaves”

  1. The Consequential ACTION is VERY clear.
    a) Unless WHO wishes to play a game of roulette

    b) Never expected that renowned organization like WHO will come
    down to the gutter

    c) Are we heading to the disintegration of the UN ITSELF ?!?!?!?!

    d) to z) OH! LORD HAVE MERCY UPON US ALL

  2. In the first place,Dr. Teodros Adhanom is incompetent and unsuited to lead the WHO. His trackrecords as one of the top TPLF henchmen in Ethiopia reveal that he was at the center of the TPLF organized and controlled corruption empire in the country. His misconduct and abuse of his position in the WHO was clear and outrageous but continued unabated. He misused the office as a forum to spread his TPLF propaganda as a continuation of his corrupt conducts.

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