WHO :: Dr. Margaret Chan takes office as Director-General of the World Health Organization

Dr. Margaret Chan of China took office as Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) following her election in November. She pledged that her term of office and the effectiveness of the Organization would be judged by the impact they have on two specific populations.

“I want my leadership to be judged by the impact of our work on the health of two populations: women and the people of Africa,” Dr Chan said. “WHO has a long history of commitment to those in greatest need, including the most vulnerable groups.”

Dr Chan has set out six priority areas on which she intends to focus the work of WHO: development for health, health security, building the capacity of health systems, developing better information and knowledge, enhancing partnerships and improving the performance of the Organization.

Speaking to staff, Dr Chan said that the priorities she has emphasized during and since her election will not mean a major restructuring of WHO. She said she would be looking for ways in which different parts of the Organization can work better together. She told staff, “I will stick with my promise. Reform, yes. Upheaval, no.”

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