08 February 2007
Geneva - The Board of the Global Fund has chosen Michel Kazatchkine, a physician and global health expert, as the next Executive Director of the Global Fund. He replaces Sir Richard Feachem, the founding Executive Director, who steps down at the end of his five-year term on March 31.
Professor Kazatchkine is a physician who has treated people with AIDS for more than 20 years and led the world's second-largest AIDS research agency.Â He currently serves as France's Ambassador for HIV/AIDS and Communicable Diseases. Professor Kazatchkine is a former Vice Chair of the Global Fund Board and first Chair of the Global Fundâ€™s Technical Review Panel, which assesses the quality of grant proposals.
"The Vice Chair of the Board, Dr Lieve Fransen , and I are very pleased to welcome Professor Kazatchkine, an accomplished Global Health specialist, as the new Executive Director-designate of the Global Fund," said Dr Carol Jacobs Chair of the Board of the Global Fund. "This is a new period in the life of the Fund and we are indeed fortunate to have Professor Kazatchkine lead the Secretariat at the start of the Fund's second five year cycle.Â He has a right blend of skills and experience needed to manage this unique financial institution".
"I am delighted by the choice of Michel Kazatchkine as my successor," said Professor Richard Feachem. "I look forward to handing over a strong institution that is positively impacting tens of millions of lives in 136 countries. Under Dr Kazatchkine's leadership the Global Fund is in excellent hands and its life saving work will continue to expand."
In just five years, the Global Fund has become a leading force in the fight against the three diseases. It provides two-thirds of international funding for the fight against malaria and TB, and 20 percent of the global funding to fight AIDS.Â With 450 programs in 136 countries Professor Kazatchkine will lead the largest international financier of TB and malaria programs and one of the three largest funders of HIV/AIDS programs in the world.
The Global Fund has approved grants for 450 programs in 136 countries with a total commitment of US$ 7 billion. As of December 2006, 770,000 people have begun antiretroviral (ARV) treatment through Global Fund-supported programs and nearly 18 million insecticide-treated bed nets have been distributed to prevent malaria. In addition, tuberculosis programs have detected and treated 2 million TB cases under DOTS, the internationally-approved TB control strategy.