Six candidates were originally in the running to be the next director of the Pan American Sanitary Bureau—a post held by Dr. Carissa F. Etienne since 2013. After the Colombian government withdrew the candidacy of Dr. Fernando Ruíz Gómez on September 15, there are now five candidates nominated for this post. And a lot is at stake to ensure the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), a specialized health agency of the Inter-American System and Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization, defines its position in the shifting global health landscape, secures sustainable support and funding, and maximizes its impact in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). The new director must lead PAHO and LAC in navigating constrained fiscal space for health amid the worst economic downturn in a century, responding to health threats like COVID-19 and monkeypox, coordinating initiatives and defining the regional strategy to bolster pandemic preparedness and response capacity, and maintaining and expanding equitable access to essential, quality and people-centered health services, among other priorities.
In the run-up to this election, to be held during the Pan American Sanitary Conference from September 26-30, join the Center for Global Development for a conversation with the candidates on the key priorities for PAHO’s next director. Candidates will discuss their objectives and plans, should they be elected, and respond to the priorities outlined by regional health experts during the event held earlier this month.