WHO Director-General announces leadership team

Five members of the senior leadership team announced on 3 October 2017 by Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, are from the WHO European Region. The team of 14 comprises former ministers of health, some of the world’s leading physicians, scientists and researchers, and programmatic experts.

The following members are from the European Region.

  • Ms Jane Ellison, Deputy Director-General for Corporate Operations: From the United Kingdom, Ms Ellison has more than 30 years of experience in politics, commerce and change management in both the public and private sectors. On World No Tobacco Day in 2016, Ms Ellison received the Director-General’s Special Recognition Award for her work overseeing the Government of the United Kingdom’s tobacco control programme and driving policy on standardized packaging.
  • Dr Bernhard Schwartländer, Chef de Cabinet: Since 2013, Dr Schwartländer of Germany has served as WHO Representative in China.
  • Dr Svetlana Akselrod, Assistant Director-General for Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health: Dr Akselrod of the Russian Federation brings more than 15 years of experience in public health coordination and global health diplomacy. Dr Akselrod was WHO/Europe’s national counterpart and led the process of developing the country cooperation strategy between WHO and the Russian Federation that was signed in 2014.
  • Ambassador Michèle Boccoz, Assistant Director-General for External Relations: An experienced diplomat from France, Ambassador Boccoz has served as the French Government’s Ambassador for the fight against HIV/AIDS and communicable diseases since 2016.
  • Dr Ranieri Guerra, Assistant Director-General for Special Initiatives: A physician from Italy, Dr Guerra has more than 30 years of public health experience. Since 2015, he has represented Italy as a member of the Standing Committee of the Regional Committee for Europe.

“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,” said Dr Tedros. “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.”