The WHO Executive Board, currently holding its 152nd meeting in Geneva, has appointed Dr. Jarbas Barbosa da Silva Jr. as Regional Director for the Americas effective 1 February 2023.
A national of Brazil, Dr. Barbosa da Silva Jr. was elected as Director of the Pan American Health Organization, which is also WHO’s Regional Office for the Americas, by PAHO Member States in September 2022 during the 30th Pan American Sanitary Conference in Washington D.C.
He succeeds Dr. Carissa F. Etienne of Dominica, who has led the organization since 2012.
Dr. Jarbas Barbosa da Silva Jr. received his medical degree from the Federal University of Pernambuco, Brazil, and specialized in public health and epidemiology at the National School of Public Health, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ) in Rio de Janeiro. He holds a master’s degree in medical sciences and a PhD in public health from the University of Campinas in São Paulo.
Earlier in his career, he was Municipal Secretary of Health of Olinda, State Secretary of Health in Pernambuco, and Director of the National Center for Epidemiology (CENEPI) in Brasília.
Dr. Barbosa joined PAHO in 2007 as Area Manager for Health Surveillance and Disease Management, responsible for coordinating regional activities related to the surveillance, prevention, and control of communicable and noncommunicable diseases; veterinary public health; and health analysis and statistics. In 2011, he rejoined Brazil’s Ministry of Health as Secretary of Health Surveillance, and later became Secretary of Science, Technology and Strategic Supplies. Prior to becoming Assistant Director at AMRO/PAHO, Dr. Barbosa was Director-President of the Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency (ANVISA) from 2015-2018.