Zsuzsanna Jakab begins work as new WHO EURO Regional Director

ZJEB2 February 2010

On 1 February 2010, Mrs Zsuzsanna Jakab took up her post as the new World Health Organization Regional Director for Europe. A native of Hungary, Mrs Jakab has held a number of high-profile national and international positions in public health policy in the last three decades. Most recently she served as the first Director of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control in Stockholm, Sweden.

"These are not 'business as usual' times"

In her acceptance speech Mrs Jakab outlined the many challenges, from new pandemics and persistent health inequalities, to climate change and the financial crisis, for which Europe must "develop and strengthen 21st century public health tools and approaches."  Mrs. Jakab acknowledged that such challenges "in an increasingly globalised world, demand new ways of advocating, managing and responding to health issues at all levels."  While the diversity within the European region can present additional challenges, Mrs Jakab believes that "the diversity of Europe is also an opportunity - as it is a unique resevoir of many innovative health policy and health systems solutions that we need to share better with each other and the world."  Europe needs to "take full advantage of the collective wisdom, experience and know-how of our vast and diverse region - not only for improved health in Europe but also for Europe's contribution to global health."

Mrs. Jakab began work yesterday following a public consultation process, unique in WHO experience. Mrs Jakab put forward her vision for the European Region in an open letter to the European health community and posed several critical questions that would inform her policies and actions as the new Regional Director.  You can read her open consultation as well as some responses here.

Global Health Europe extends its congratulations to Mrs. Jakab and welcomes a new era in European global health governance.

Read more the new WHO EURO Regional Director and read her acceptance speech at the WHO EURO Website.






Additional information