United Nations: Soumiya Swaminathan, the head of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), has been appointed Deputy Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who was elected this year to head the Geneva-based organisation, announced her appointment on Tuesday morning.
A leading medical researcher and health policy expert, Swaminathan will be incharge of WHO programmes.
Besides being the director-general of the ICMR, she is concurrently the secretary of the Department of Health Research in India’s Health Ministry.
The WHO announcement described her as “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”.
A paediatrician, Swaminathan graduated from the Armed Forces Medical College in Pune, got her MD degree from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and did a fellowship at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.
She is the daughter of M.S. Swaminathan, the agricultural scientist acclaimed as the father of India’s Green Revolution.
She has been the director of the National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis in Chennai and was the coordinator of a special programme for research and training in tropical diseases jointly sponsored by several international organisations in Geneva.