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ICMR Chief Soumya Swaminathan Appointed WHO Deputy Director General

04 Octobre 2017

The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Tuesday appointed Soumya Swaminathan as Deputy Director General for Programmes of the United Nations agency based in Geneva, Switzerland that is concerned with worldwide public health. Swaminathan is now the director general of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). The appointment will skyrocket her position to the second highest position in the Geneva-based United Nations organisation just below the Director-General.

Swaminathan will be the deputy director general for programmes (DDG) and Jane Ellison will be the deputy director general for corporate operations (DDC), said the World Health Organization director-general while announcing his senior leadership team. "Dr Swaminathan was India's nominee", said a source in the Union health ministry who did not want to be named.

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She is the daughter of M.S. Swaminathan, the agricultural scientist acclaimed as the father of India's Green Revolution. Before her appointment to the post, Swaminathan also served as Secretary of the Department of Health Research. Her mother, Mina, is an educationist, and as chairperson of the study group on the development of pre-school children, had submitted a report that formed the basis of the Integrated Child Development Services. A pediatrician from India and a globally recognized researcher on tuberculosis and HIV, she brings with her 30 years of experience in clinical care and research and has worked throughout her career to translate research into impactful programmes.

She has served as the director of the National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis in Chennai and was the coordinator of a special program for research and training in tropical diseases jointly sponsored by several global organizations in Geneva. She was also the Co-Chair of the Lancet Commission on TB.

ICMR Chief Soumya Swaminathan Appointed WHO Deputy Director General