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Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was elected WHO Director-General for a five-year term by

WHO Member States at the Seventieth World Health Assembly in May 2017, and was re-
elected to a second term in May 2022 during the Seventy-Fifth World Health Assembly. Dr

Tedros was the first WHO Director-General elected from among multiple candidates by the
World Health Assembly, and was the first person from the WHO African Region to head the
world’s leading public health agency.
Born in the Eritrean city of Asmara, Dr Tedros graduated from the University of Asmara with
a Bachelor of Biology, before earning a Master of Science (MSc) in Immunology of Infectious
Diseases from the University of London, a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Community
Health from the University of Nottingham and an Honorary Fellowship from the London
School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Following his studies, Dr Tedros returned to Ethiopia to support the delivery of health
services, first working as a field-level malariologist, before heading a regional health service
and later serving in Ethiopia’s federal government for over a decade as Minister of Health
and Minister of Foreign Affairs.
As Minister of Health from 2005 to 2012, he led a comprehensive reform of the country’s
health system, built on the foundation of universal health coverage and provision of services
to all people, even in the most remote areas.
Under his leadership, Ethiopia expanded its health infrastructure, developed innovative
health financing mechanisms, and expanded its health workforce. A major component of
reforms he drove was the creation of a primary health care extension programme that
deployed 40 000 female health workers throughout the country. A significant result was an
approximate 60% reduction in child and maternal mortality compared to 2000 levels.
As Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2012 to 2016, he elevated health as a political issue
nationally, regionally and globally. In this role, he led efforts to negotiate the Addis Ababa
Action Agenda, in which 193 countries committed to the financing necessary to achieve the
Sustainable Development Goals.
Prior to his election as Director-General of WHO, Dr Tedros held many leadership positions
in global health, including as Chair of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and
Malaria, Chair of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, and Co-chair of the Partnership for
Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Board.
After taking office as WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros initiated the most significant
transformation in the Organization’s history, which has generated a wide range of

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