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Who will lead WHO?

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.333.7575.938 (Published 02 November 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:938
  1. Anne Glusker
  1. Geneva

    Deals and politicking characterise the contest for a new director general of WHO, says Anne Glusker¶

    In its closing days, the contest for the next director general of the World Health Organization is revealing itself to be a peculiar race in a peculiar year. The election will fill the vacancy created by the untimely death in May of the previous WHO chief, Lee Jong-wook. But two factors are complicating the battle.


    Embedded Image

    Dr Margaret Chan of China (left) and Dr Shigeru Omi of Japan (right) might be at a disadvantage in their contest for the WHO leadership compared with Dr Julio Frenk of Mexico (centre) because they are Asian and the new secretary general of the UN is of Asian origin

    Credit: P VIROT/WHO

    Credit: JORGER UZON/AFP/GETTY

    Credit: SAMANTHA SIN/AFP/GETTY

    Firstly, two other key public health organisation are also about to name new leaders—the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria and the World Bank's health programmes section.

    Secondly, two of the presumed front runners for the WHO leadership …

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