WHO leadership race reaches final stages

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: (Published 03 January 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:7
  1. Fiona Godlee

    Later this month, one of seven candidates will be nominated as the World Health Organisation's next director general. Fiona Godlee assesses the competition

    After 10 years of declining international prestige and a slump in staff morale, the WHO has an opportunity to recast itself. Now in its 50th year, the organisation is in financial straights, uncertain about its place in the world, and, as the year 2000 approaches, hard pushed to rearticulate its distant promise of “Health for All.” The BMJ invited the seven candidates to respond to questions about the future of the WHO. Five responses are given on the following pages.

    George Alleyne (65) has been director of the WHO's American region since 1994. He declined to respond to our questions in writing, feeling that this would subvert the executive board's selection procedures. Through his West Indian origins and his 16 years working for the Pan American Health Organisation in Washington DC, he is on paper the candidate with the greatest potential to bridge the divide between developed and developing nations. His achievements include supporting the successful elimination of polio from the Americas. His long career within the WHO and his establishment credentials …

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