Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, a health expert from Ethiopia, has been elected by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the new Director General.
Tedros, who will be the first health official from Africa to serve as director-general, takes over from Dr. Margaret Chan, who has been overseeing the agency since 2006.
He beat two other candidates, Britain’s Dr. David Nabarro and Dr. Sania Nishtar, the first female cardiologist in Pakistan to clinch the position.
Tedros key achievements include drastically cutting deaths from malaria, AIDS, tuberculosis and neonatal problems when he was Ethiopia’s health minister. He has also trained 40,000 female health workers, hired outbreak investigators, improved the national laboratory, organized an ambulance system and oversaw a tenfold increase in medical school graduates.
He promised as the head of W.H.O. to pursue health insurance in even the poorest nations, strengthen emergency responses and make the agency more accountable and transparent.
Tedros who is also a former foreign affairs minister will serve a five-year term in the new position which will be begin on July 1.