Political Leadership for Global Health


Organised by the Global Health Centre at the Graduate Institute, Geneva, in cooperation with the Centre on Global Health Security at Chatham House, The Rockefeller Foundation and the United Nations Foundation

Monday, 6 March 2017 | 15:00 - 17:00
Maison de la Paix, the Graduate Institute, Geneva

A moderated discussion with the candidates for Director-General of the WHO

Extraordinary times require exceptional leadership. The World Health Organization (WHO) is selecting its new Director-General at a time when the global order is being challenged. There is a vibrant debate on how the multilateral development system can deliver in an increasingly complex environment and it can spearhead the transformation required to implement the Sustainable Development Goals. 

What is the leadership role of the WHO in this highly politicized setting? What difference can a new Director General make? What form will WHO's health diplomacy take as heads of state and other sectors engage in the global health agenda? How can WHO play to its strengths and invest in its normative and convening capacities? How can it act on behalf of the most disadvantaged? Are countries and civil society organisations asking the impossible of a cash-strapped intergovernmental organisation?

Join us for this public event to explore the political leadership and diplomacy that will make a difference in challenging times for global health, together with the three candidates for Director-General nominated by the Executive Board of WHO.

15:00–15:15 Welcome and introduction by Co-Chairs
Ilona Kickbusch, Director, Global Health Centre, the Graduate Institute, Geneva
David Heymann, Head of the Centre on Global Health Security at Chatham House

15:15–16:45 Moderated discussion with candidates for Director-General of the World Health Organization


Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Candidate nominated by the Government of Ethiopia


David Nabarro
Candidate nominated by the Government of the United Kingdom


Sania Nishtar
Candidate nominated by the Government of Pakistan












Moderated by:
Andrew Jack, Head of Curated Content and Editor, Financial Times, and
Diah S. Saminarsih, Special Adviser to the Minister of Health of Indonesia

16:45–17:00 Concluding remarks by Co-Chairs 
Invitation to the reception by John E. Lange, Ambassador and Senior Fellow, Global Health Diplomacy, United Nations Foundation

17:00–18:00 Reception

You are invited to submit questions through an open call the week before the event on Twitter with the hashtag #WHODGquestion, from 23 February 2017 to 1 March 2017.

This event will be live webcast.

The event is organised in collaboration with:

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