PROFILE: Former Ethiopian Minister is New WHO Head

Dr Tedros Adhanom, Ethiopia’s former health minister, has been elected the new director-general of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Dr Tedros was voted in a poll exercise that lasted five hours in Geneva Switzerland on Tuesday.

He beat British candidate David Nabarro after two rounds of voting.

Voting was done by health ministers from 185 countries. Dr Tedros garnered 133 votes.

Previously, the exercise had attracted six candidates two years ago.

He becomes the first African and a non-medical doctor to head the UN agency.


Age: 52



Father to five children

Lives in Ethiopia


Ethiopian Minister of Foreign Affairs (2012-2016)

Minister of Health (2005-2012).

Chair of the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

Chair of the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership Board

Co-chair of the Board of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health.


Internationally recognised malaria researcher

PhD in community health


Advancing universal health coverage

Ensuring WHO responds rapidly and effectively to disease outbreaks and emergencies.

Putting the wellbeing of women, children and adolescents at the centre of global health and development

Helping nations address the effects of climate change on health

Making the agency transparent and accountable.