WHO statement on the situation relating to the Regional Director of the Western Pacific

World Health Organization names Sir Jeremy Farrar as Chief Scientist, Dr Amelia Latu Afuhaamango Tuipulotu as Chief Nursing Officer

The World Health Organization (WHO) received allegations of misconduct against the Regional Director for the Western Pacific during the latter half of 2021 and in 2022.  

In line with the Organization’s policy of zero tolerance for abusive conduct, the allegations were investigated and subsequently reviewed in accordance with the normal procedures applicable to all WHO staff members. This included the right of the Regional Director to receive all relevant evidence and respond to the allegations in line with due process. These procedures resulted in findings of misconduct. 

After careful consideration of the findings, and following consultation with the Regional Committee for the Western Pacific and the Executive Board, the Regional Director’s appointment has been terminated. 

The election cycle for the next Regional Director for the Western Pacific will begin in April 2023, when WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus invites Member States of the Region to submit proposed candidates. The election will take place at a closed meeting of the Regional Committee in October 2023, and the nomination will go to the Executive Board for approval. This follows the  standard process and timeframe, i.e. 5 years after the last election of a Regional Director for the Western Pacific.

Until the new Regional Director takes office, Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, who has served as Officer-in-Charge of the Western Pacific Region since August 2022, will serve as acting Regional Director.  Dr Jakab has served as Deputy Director-General since 2019 and she was previously the WHO Regional Director for Europe.



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