Dr. Soumya Swaminathan appointed  WHO Deputy Director General

In a rare honour to an Indian doctor,researcher and dynamic woman, Dr. Soumya Swaminathan who is presently serving as Director General of the Indian Council for Medical Research(ICMR),  has been appointed as one of the two Deputy Director Generals of the World Health Organisation(WHO).

Highest post held by Indian doctor

Dr Sowmya Swaminathan is a paediatrician  and is known for her long standing research for more than three decades in Tuberculosis and HIV. She is the daughter of MS Swaminathan (92), the acclaimed Indian geneticist and father of the green revolution.

Swaminathan had also worked with UNICEF from 2009 to 2011 as Coordinator of the UNICEF/UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) in Geneva. She was also part of several WHO and global advisory bodies and committees, including  the Strategic and Technical Advisory Group of the Global TB Department at WHO, and Co-Chair of the Lancet Commission on TB.

60% of new representatives in WHO are women

Other new appointments at the WHO include Britain’s Jane Ellison, who will serve as Deputy Director General for Corporate Operations while Dr Swaminathan will be the DDG for Programs(both posts created for the first time).  The WHO also appointed 10 new assistant director generals. The announcement was made by director general, Ghebreyesus who also said that 60% of new representatives in WHO are women.


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