World Health Organization names nominees to lead global agency
The World Health Organization (WHO) announced Wednesday that three finalists had been shortlisted for selection to become the next director-general of the global health agency.
The remaining three candidates, to be decided amongst at the May World Health Assembly, are:
- Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (Ethiopia)
- Dr Sania Nishtar (Pakistan)
- Dr David Nabarro (United Kingdom)
The final vote count, according to government sources, was:
- Ghebreyesus: 30
- Nishtar: 28
- Nabarro: 18
- Prof. Philippe Douste-Blazy (France): 14
- Dr Flavia Bustreo (Italy): 12
With the shortlisting at the 140th session of the WHO Executive Board, knocked out of contention were Dr. Flavia Bustreo, 55, of Italy, currently a WHO assistant director-general, and France’s Dr. Philippe Douste-Blazy, 64, at one point considered a strong contender for the job.
The only WHO member states voting in this round were the 34 members of the Executive Board, and each voted for their top three choices.
Final decision at World Health Assembly in May
The election of the global health agency’s eighth director-general will take place in May when its 194 member states convene in Geneva for the WHO’s annual general meeting, the World Health Assembly.
The contenders are vying to take the reins of the UN’s leading health agency.
Originally six candidates were vying for the position, which carries a five-year term. But following rules set out for this election, the WHO’s executive board pared that list down to five on Tuesday, knocking out Dr. Miklós Szócska, 56, of Hungary.
The remaining five candidates were interviewed Wednesday behind closed doors, after which the 34-member executive board voted to winnow the list down to three.
It had been thought voting might go late into the night in Geneva, but the outcome was quick. As expected, the presence of multiple Europeans on the ballot appeared to have split theirs votes. That raises the possibility that Nabarro may benefit from the departure of Bustreo and Douste-Blazy.