Dr Soumya Swaminathan, director general of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), has been appointed as Deputy Director General, Programmes of the World Health Organisation (WHO), which is the second-highest position at the UN’s health agency.
The new WHO leadership team was announced on Tuesday morning by the director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who was elected to the post in July 2017.
Swaminathan, who is a pediatrician and has held a vast experience of three decades as a clinical scientist, is widely recognised for her research on Tuberculosis.
She is the daughter of MS Swaminathan, father of the green revolution in India. She did her MBBS and MD from the Armed Forces Medical College and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), respectively.
Dr Swaminathan will take over from Dr Anarfi Asamoa-Baah from Ghana, who joined WHO as a senior policy adviser to the director-general and had served as the assistant director-general of the communicable disease programme and the HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria programme.