Newly elected Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who will take up his position as director general of the World Health Organization (WHO) on July 1, is in the United States this week to meet with a wide range of stakeholders on global health issues.
Tedros, in the first of planned visits to all of WHO’s regional offices, will visit the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in Washington DC, which serves as regional office for the Americas.
He also is meeting with Jim Yong Kim, president of World Bank, and Bill Gates, the co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Tedros plans high-level meetings with leaders at the United Nations, the Canadian Ministry of International Development and La Francophonie, the U.S. Department of State and US Agency for International Development (USAID), and US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“I look forward to the opportunity to meet so many key partners while in the United States,” Tedros said in a statement Monday. “I want everyone to know that from my first day in office, I am determined for WHO to be the best possible partner for global health.”
The Director General-elect, who was voted into his position at last month’s annual WHO summit in Geneva, has prioritized work on climate change and health, the well-being of women and children, and the capacity of the international community to respond to disease outbreaks and humanitarian crises.
Tedros also wants “to build on existing efforts to turn WHO into a more effective, transparent, and accountable agency, stressing the critical value of partnerships,” the organization said.
Tedros begins his visit in Atlanta on Monday, where he will reaffirm the commitment to eradicate polio during an address to global health leaders gathered at the Rotary Convention. He also will visit the Carter Center there.