13 May 2011
GENEVA – The Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has elected Martin Dinham, a former Director General in the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, as the new Board Chair. Dr. Mphu Ramatlapeng, Health Minister of the Kingdom of Lesotho, was elected Vice-Chair.
At its meeting in Geneva which ended Thursday evening, the Board also approved a comprehensive reform agenda to maximise the effectiveness of the Global Fund. The reform agenda includes measures for greater financial controls and risk management, greater value for money and further improvements in the way the Global Fund manages its grants. The Board approved the framework for an ambitious five-year agenda, which will set the direction and targets for the organization. The Board will approve a finalized strategy and work plan at its second meeting of the year.
The Board reaffirmed its continued commitment to full transparency and the independence of the Office of Inspector General. It also clarified an issue of eligibility for middle income countries to apply for funding from The Global Fund.
A career British civil servant, Martin Dinham has operated in senior leadership roles in the public service, advising successive Prime Ministers and other Cabinet Ministers on key issues. These include a position as senior advisor to the Governor of Hong Kong in the lead up to its handover to China and most recently as Director General for International Issues in the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID).
“I am delighted to accept this position at a time when the UK Government has strongly endorsed the Global Fund’s performance in its recent Multilateral Aid Review, an assessment which I very much share,” said Mr Dinham. “I am looking forward to utilise my experience over many years in the public sector in management and organisational change in supporting the Secretariat and the Board in taking forward their ambitious reform agenda.”
Professor Michel Kazatchkine, Executive Director of the Global Fund, hailed Mr Dinham’s election as Board’s Chair and that of Dr. Ramatlapeng as Vice-Chair. “I congratulate both Mr Dinham and Minister Ramatlapeng on their election and look forward to working with them over the next two years, at a time when the Global Fund is entering a period of reform and consolidation,” Kazatchkine said.
Dr Mphu Ramatlapeng has been the Minister of Health and Social Welfare of Lesotho since 2007. Before being appointed as Minister, she served for two years as the Country Director of the Clinton Foundation HIV/AIDS Initiative in Lesotho. She has previously practised as a physician for more than 20 years in Mafeteng District, Lesotho, and was a lecturer at the National Health Training College.
Martin Dinham takes over the role of Board Chair from Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Minister of Health of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Mphu Ramatlapeng succeeds Ernest Loevinsohn, Director, Global Health Policy & Advocacy Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The changeover happens at a time when the Board has formally endorsed a high-level independent panel to review the Global Fund’s financial safeguards. Co-chaired by former US Health Secretary Michael O. Leavitt and former President of Botswana Festus Mogae, the panel will submit its final report to the Global Fund Board by September 15, 2011.