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Tight Budgets, New Threats, and Shifting Landscapes: Setting the Agenda for PAHO's Next Director

  • Ximena Aguilera, Professor and Director, Center of Epidemiology and Public Health Policies, Faculty of Medicine Clínica Alemana Universidad del Desarrollo; Former Senior Advisor on Communicable Diseases, Pan American Health Organization
  • Francisco Becerra, Former Assistant Director, Pan American Health Organization
  • Lucrecia Hernández Mack, Congresswoman, Guatemala; Former Minister of Public Health and Social Assistance, Guatemala
  • Fernando Llorca Castro, Ambassador of Costa Rica to the United States; Former Minister of Health, Costa Rica


  • Javier Guzman, Director of Global Health Policy and Senior Policy Fellow, Center for Global Development

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is facing a critical change with the upcoming election for a new director. Six candidates are competing to fill the post held by Dr. Carissa F. Etienne since 2013. And a lot is at stake to ensure this 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 on the key priorities for PAHO’s next director. Speakers will discuss the challenges this new leadership must tackle and the role PAHO should play in supporting universal health and emergency responses in LAC going forward.

If you have questions for our panelists, please submit your comments via YouTube.

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