WHO chief scientist departs ahead of broader shake-up
The chief scientist of the World Health Organization said on Tuesday (Nov 15) she was leaving the...
The chief scientist of the World Health Organization said on Tuesday (Nov 15) she was leaving the agency, the first of a series of high-profile departures expected at the global health body as it prepares for a post-pandemic future.
The exit of Soumya Swaminathan, an Indian pediatrician, announced on Twitter, comes as Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus's second term as leader of the 74-year-old UN agency gets underway. Swaminathan did not give a reason.
Other figures including Dr Ren Minghui, assistant director for universal health coverage and communicable and non-communicable disease, Dr Mariângela Batista Galvão Simão, head of access to medicines, are also leaving, according to health and diplomatic sources, and more are expected.
Tedros, who began his second term in August, has given no reasons for any broader reshuffle, and some of the staff are retiring. It is common for WHO directors to adjust their top team when starting a new period in office.
Diplomats say that some donors have also privately suggested reforms to streamline Tedros' 18-member leadership team based in the Geneva headquarters.