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New WHO Leadership Team Announced, Dr Soumya Swaminathan gets Top Post

WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced his senior leadership team on Oct 3, and India got a chair at the table. “The team represents 14 countries, including all WHO regions, and is more than 60% women, reflecting my deep-held belief that we need top talent, gender equity and a geographically diverse set of perspectives to fulfil our mission to keep the world safe,” said Dr Tedros.

Dr Soumya Swaminathan is appointed as Deputy Director-General for Programmes (DDP) and Jane Ellison is appointed as Deputy Director-General for Corporate Operations (DDC). “Looking forward to serving with a multifaceted and talented team!” Dr Swaminathan said in a tweet.


Dr Soumya Swaminathan has more than 30 years of experience in clinical care, research and translating those findings into programs. She most recently served as Secretary of the Department of Health Research in India and as Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research.

Jane Ellison brings with her more than 30 years of experience in government, commerce and change management. Most recently, she was the Special Parliamentary Adviser to the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer. She also served as the UK’s Public Health Minister from 2014 to 2016.

“I am thrilled to welcome this group of diverse, talented global health leaders to WHO and am grateful for the opportunity to work alongside them to ensure health for all.

I also would like to acknowledge the work of my transition team, chaired by Dr Senait Fisseha, which has been instrumental not only in helping me seamlessly move into the Director-General role, but also in putting together this leadership team,” said Dr Tedros.

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