Antonio Guterres, Known for Nerve and Deal Making, Will Need Both at U.N. – Former Portugal Prime Minister António Guterres was sworn in this week as the ninth Secretary General of the United Nations, bringing a record relevant to global health. Portugal’s decriminalization of drug use in response to the country’s heroin addiction epidemic on Guterres’s watch is deemed a success, as this article notes, But, from his time as UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Guterres also comes with a record, in the view of a Médecins Sans Frontières leader quoted here, of having fallen short in support for the surge of refugees across Europe in 2015.
Incoming Administration names Secretary of State pick – With no previous experience in government, foreign policy or security, the incoming Administration’s pick to head the State Department, Rex Tillerson, comes with many unknowns, but his involvement in global health discussions and responses offers a glimpse of possible global health priorities. The ExxonMobil Chair and Chief Executive Officer served on the Center for Strategic and International Studies Commission on Smart Global Health Policy, which weighed in on U.S. international public health responses, and on his watch, ExoonMobil’s Foundation made its own investments, to fight malaria, and address women’s issues.
WHO’s Director General candidates: visions and priorities – The next Director General of the World Health Organization will take the helm of the scrutinized organization at a time of continuing challenges. The new leader will face an ongoing need to reshape the international agency’s response mechanisms and capacities, raise the resources needed to make health responses both agile and sustainable, and inspire the world’s governments to participate. The answers to ten questions provided by the Lancet gives readers a chance to decide who is best equipped to take on those challenges and more.