News Releases

Global Fund Board appoints Minister of Health of Ethiopia as Chair

10 July 2009

Vice-Chair from Canada (CIDA) also appointed

Geneva – The Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has elected Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Minister of Health of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, as the new Board Chair. Ernest Loevinsohn, Director General of the Global Initiatives Directorate in the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), was elected Vice-Chair.

Since 1986, and prior to his appointment as minister in 2005, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus served in a number of expert and leadership positions within the Ministry of Health at both federal and regional levels. He is also broadly recognized for his leadership in the rapidly evolving field of global health and has been working steadily to enhance Ethiopia’s active engagement in a number of major international forums. Dr Tedros Adhanom served as Chair of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership until May 2009, and currently chairs the UNAIDS Programme Coordination Board. Additionally, he has various roles in other advisory groups, such as the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, the Executive Committee of the Partners in Population and Development, the GAVI Alliance and the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation.

’The honor of this overwhelming vote of support belongs to my country, Ethiopia, which I am very privileged to represent. I am deeply humbled by this election and recognize well the weight of the responsibilities that come with it. The Global Fund faces big challenges ahead. But I am also optimistic about the great opportunities we now have for ensuring that this unique and innovative organization continues to be a success over the coming years”, said Dr Tedros Adhanom. “Stronger partnerships, greater engagement of implementing constituencies and clearer demonstration of the Global Fund’s impact will be key. We look forward to sharing our experiences in Ethiopia in implementing Global Fund-supported programs for expanding service delivery at the same time as building our health system. In Ethiopia, thanks to the Global Fund’s flexibility we are reaching more of our communities with essential health services and putting in place an effective national health system that can not only save many more lives now, but is also better able to fight for the future.’’

Professor Michel Kazatchkine, Executive Director of the Global Fund, hailed Dr Tedros Adhanom’s election to the Board’s Chair and that of Ernest Loevinsohn to the Vice-Chair. “I congratulate both Minister Tedros and Dr Loevinsohn on their election and look forward to working with them over the next two years, a critical period for global health that will help determine whether the Millennium Development Goals are achieved,” Kazatchkine said.

“Minister Tedros brings invaluable experience to the Board with his close involvement in the scale-up of AIDS, TB and malaria programs and strengthening the health system in Ethiopia, as well as his leadership experience in several major global health partnerships,” said Kazatchkine. “His distinguished record as a leading voice in global health will be a great asset to the Global Fund as he assumes the role of Chair of the Board.”

Dr Ernest Loevinsohn received his Ph.D. from Princeton University, and in 1984 he was appointed as the first Staff Director of the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Hunger. Following his work for Congress, Loevinsohn joined the Canadian government’s Department of Finance where he came to lead the work covering the aid budget, IMF, World Bank and G7, and served as Canada’s chief debt negotiator at the Paris Club. He then became Director General, Policy, for CIDA and went on to establish the agency’s Program Against Hunger, Malnutrition and Disease. Loevinsohn was the founding chair of the Global Stop TB Partnership. He also served as the long-time Chair of the Board of Results USA, the civil society advocacy organization working to eliminate the worst aspects of poverty. As well as his role as Vice-Chair Loevinsohn represents Canada, Germany and Switzerland on the Board of the Global Fund.

“As Vice-Chair, Dr Loevinsohn brings his broad knowledge of global health and development policy and – through his involvement since the first meetings at which the Global Fund was created - valuable institutional memory to the leadership of the Board,” said Kazatchkine.

During the seven years since its creation, the Global Fund has grown to become the dominant financier of programs to fight AIDS, TB and malaria, with US$ 16 billion in firm pledges and commitments of US$ 10.3 billion for programs in 140 countries. So far, programs supported by the Global Fund have averted 4 million deaths, through providing AIDS treatment for 2.3 million people, TB treatment for 5.4 million people, and distributed 88 million bed nets.

Tedros Adhanom takes over the role of Chair from Rajat Gupta, partner and former managing director of McKinsey & Company. Loevinsohn succeeds Ms Elizabeth Mataka, Executive Director of the Zambia National AIDS Network. The new Chair and Vice-Chair took up their positions on 6 July 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 implementing countries, nongovernmental organizations, the private sector (including businesses and foundations) and affected communities all share governance responsibilities. Donors and implementers each hold ten voting seats on the Board, while the World Health Organisation, the World Bank, UNAIDS, Roll Back Malaria/Stop TB/UNITAID (who share a seat),the Swiss government and the Global Fund Executive Director hold nonvoting 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 implementing voting group.