Who should be the next executive director of UNAIDS?

October 16, 2008

At the end of the year, Peter Piot will step down as Executive Director of UNAIDS, the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS and the largest organisation devoted to a single disease. He has been in the post since UNAIDS' inception in 1995, and has raised the profile of HIV/AIDS so successfully that the epidemic has remained a high priority on health, political, and security agendas. His achievements are substantial.

After Piot announced his resignation, UNAIDS set up a Search Committee, which interviewed seven candidates from 117 applicants. According to the Committee the "paucity of highly-qualified candidates" meant that the deadline had to be extended. On Oct 2, its Program Coordinating Board released details of the selection process and the four candidates it recommended.

In this week's lead Editorial in The Lancet, the four candidates, Tim Barnett, Stefano Bertozzi, Michel Sidibé and Debrework Zewdie, are discussed. The Editorial concludes: "As soon as the ink has dried on the door-plaque for the new Executive Director, The Lancet will present him or her with one of their first opportunities: to write about their vision and plans for their new role. That public manifesto can become a declared commitment and purpose to which we can return again and again as this new era for UNAIDS and the epidemic itself unfolds."
The Lancet Press Office T) +44 (0) 20 7424 4949 E) pressoffice@lancet.com

Full Editorial: http://press.thelancet.com/1810editorials.pdf


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