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Global Fund turns to private sector for new Chair - Southern civil society leader chosen Vice-Chair

26 April 2007

Geneva - The Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria today elected Rajat Gupta, former managing director of McKinsey & Company, as its new Chair. Elizabeth Mataka, who heads a Zambian AIDS organization, was elected as Vice-Chair.

“The Global Fund was created as a public/private partnership, and today we have taken that a significant step further,” said Dr Carol Jacobs, the outgoing Chair of the Global Fund Board. “By choosing representatives from the private sector and civil society to lead a multi-billion dollar international financial institution, the Board shows the high level of trust and collaboration that has been developed during the five-year life of the Global Fund.”

Mr Rajat Gupta is a senior partner and former managing director of McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm, where he has been serving since 1973. Mr. Gupta is also the Chair of the Board of the Indian School of Business and Chair of the Public Health Foundation of India, a public/private partnership to establish seven schools of excellence in public health to train over 10,000 professionals each year.

Born in India, he is an American citizen, and is the second American to chair the Global Fund. Tommy Thompson did so while serving as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Ms Elizabeth Mataka represents the developing country NGOs on the Board of the Global Fund. She has been working in the field of HIV/AIDS for the past 16 years and has been involved in all aspects of responding to the AIDS/TB epidemic. She has experience working in Government, the Private Sector and Non- Governmental Organisations. She has provided leadership in preventions, clinical treatment for opportunistic infections, care and support at community and national levels. She currently serves as Executive Director of the Zambia National AIDS Network (ZNAN). She has broad experience in policy development, having been a member of the Zambia National AIDS Council since inception and serving on various other Boards.

During the five years since its creation, the Global Fund has grown to become the dominant financier of programs to fight AIDS, TB and malaria, with US$10.4 billion in firm pledges and commitments of US$7.1 billion for programs in 136 countries. So far, programs supported by the Global Fund have averted 1.7 million deaths, through providing AIDS treatment for 770,000 people, TB treatment for 2 million people, effective medicines for 23 million cases of malaria and distributing bed nets to 18 million families in Africa and beyond.

“The Global Fund is in the business of saving lives, and like the private sector we have a very strong focus on results,” said Dr. Michel Kazatchkine, who took office this week as executive director of the Global Fund. “We want to make sure the world is getting the best possible return on the investment we’ve been entrusted with. Having a chair from the private sector and vice-chair from an African citizens’ group underlines our accountability to best business practices, and to social justice.”

Gupta takes over the role of Chair from Dr Carol Jacobs, Chairwoman of the National Commission for HIV/AIDS of Barbados. Mataka succeeds Dr Lieve Fransen, Head of Human and Social Development for the European Commission’s Directorate General of Development. The elections were held at the Fifteenth Board Meeting in Geneva, which takes place from 25 to 27 April. The new Chair and Vice-Chair will take up their positions at the end of the current meeting and will chair their first Board meeting in November this year.

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has a unique board structure as donor and recipient countries, non-governmental organizations, the private sector (including businesses and foundations) and affected communities all share governance responsibilities. Both donors and recipients each hold ten voting seats on the Board, while the World Health Organization, the World Bank, UNAIDS, and the Swiss government hold non-voting seats. The Global Fund Board elects a Chair and a Vice-Chair for a two-year term. The Chair and Vice-Chair positions alternate between representatives of the donor voting group and the recipient voting group.

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