New leader at the helm of WHO’s Regional Office for Europe

Copenhagen, 28 January 2010

Zsuzsanna Jakab will take up her post as the new WHO Regional Director for Europe on 1 February 2010. Mrs Jakab will succeed Dr Marc Danzon, who has held the post since 2000.

Mrs Jakab will work with governments to improve the health of the 890 million people in the 53 countries in the WHO European Region. Mrs Jakab will cooperate closely with partners including other United Nations and international agencies, European Union (EU) institutions, the European public health advocacy and research community, nongovernmental organizations and the private sector.

“These are challenging times for all of us working to improve health. Growing inequities between and within countries in Europe, the changing social and demographic landscape in the Region, the economic crisis, climate change and an explosion in noncommunicable diseases are just some of the pressing health issues we face today. I look forward to taking up these challenges as WHO Regional Director for Europe, working with governments and partners to build a healthier, safer, fairer and greener reality across the Region and beyond,” says Mrs Jakab.

A native of Hungary, Zsuzsanna Jakab has held a number of high-profile national and international positions in public health policy in the last three decades. In 2005, she became founding director of the EU’s European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), based in Stockholm, Sweden.

Between 2002 and 2005, Mrs Jakab served as Secretary of State at the Hungarian Ministry of Health, Social and Family Affairs, where she managed Hungary’s preparations for EU integration in the area of public health. Prior to that, she worked at the WHO Regional Office for Europe for 11 years, where she held a number of posts, including that of Director of Administration and Management Support.

On 19 January 2010, the WHO Executive Board approved Mrs Jakab’s nomination as WHO Regional Director for Europe. As Regional Director, Zsuzsanna Jakab will report directly to Dr Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General.

Press information:

Faith Kilford Vorting
Communications Officer
WHO Regional Office for Europe
Scherfigsvej 8, DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark
Tel.: +45 39 17 12 19

Ms Zsofia Szilagyi
Communications Adviser
WHO Regional Office for Europe
Scherfigsvej 8, DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark
Tel.: +45 39 17 16 27. Fax: +45 39 17 18 80