News Releases

Global Fund’s Board Chair Martin Dinham steps down due to illness

16 August 2011

Vice Chair Mphu Ramatlapeng to stand in as Interim Board Chair

GENEVA – Mr. Martin Dinham, the Chair of the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has today stepped down from his position due to an unexpected deterioration in a long-standing health condition.

The Global Fund’s Board Vice Chair, H.E. Dr. Mphu Ramatlapeng, Minister of Health and Social Welfare of the Kingdom of Lesotho, will stand in as Board Chair whilst the vacancy is filled through a nominations and election process.

“I most sincerely regret the circumstances in which I hold the role of Board Chair in an acting capacity. Nonetheless, I am committed to ensuring an uninterrupted focus on the key initiatives that Martin and I initiated since our May 2011 election” Dr. Ramatlapeng said from her office today in Lesotho.

Mr. Dinham and Dr. Ramatlapeng were elected, respectively, Chair and Vice Chair in May 2011, to lead the multilateral financing mechanism for a two year term.

Dr Ramatlapeng emphasized that the priorities will remain finalizing the Global Fund’s 2012-2016 strategy, ensuring strong Board engagement and oversight of the Comprehensive Plan for Reform as endorsed by the Board in May 2011, and ensuring that timely and appropriate actions are taken on key recommendations from the mid-September 2011 report of the High-Level Independent Review Panel on Fiduciary Controls and Oversight, that is co-chaired by former US Health Secretary Michael O. Levitt and former President of Botswana Festus Mogae.

Mr. Dinham joined the Global Fund Board after a distinguished career in the British civil service, most recently as Director General for International Issues in the United Kingdom’s Department of International Development (DFID).

Professor Michel Kazatchkine, Executive Director of the Global Fund expressed the Secretariat’s sincere gratitude for Mr. Dinham’s service to the Global Fund. “Immediately from his May appointment, Martin provided clear leadership and a demonstrated a level of commitment to the Global Fund that was inspiring to those working with him. On behalf of the Global Fund and our partners, we thank him for his inspiration and hard work.”

“I am sure that I express the collective sentiments of the Global Fund’s Board when I say that this is sad and unexpected news for Martin and his family, and we send our thoughts and best wishes for an early recovery. Martin should be immensely proud of his contributions to the work of the Global Fund.” said Simon Bland, the Global Fund Board Member for the United Kingdom and Australia and DFID’s Head of Global Funds.

Noting the very important year ahead for the Global Fund’s Board and leadership, Mr Bland added “At a time that is personally and professionally disappointing for Martin, we are very fortunate in having a strong and experienced Vice Chair who can step in on an interim basis and provide continued, uninterrupted leadership of the Board at a time of strategic importance for the Global Fund”.

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 practiced as a physician for more than 20 years in Mafeteng District, Lesotho, and was a lecturer at the National Health Training College.

Under the Global Fund’s participatory governance model, the position of Board Chair and Vice Chair alternate between funding partners and country implementers, and the vacancy of Board Chair will therefore be filled through nominations received from the Board’s funding partner constituencies.