A Life in Global Health: WHO DG Candidate David Nabarro

David Nabarro, Special Envoy on Ebola, visits Freetown, Sierra Leone, 2014.
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David Nabarro visiting Freetown, Sierra Leone in 2014, as the Special Envoy on Ebola. UNMEER/Simon Ruf via Flickr/Creative Commons License

David Nabarro’s global health roots run deep—“40 years, across 50 countries,” as he puts it. He began his career in the in the mid-1970s, he worked as a medical officer for Save the Children in North Iraq. One of 3 candidates to be WHO’s Director-General, Nabarro held key UN and WHO positions that focused on malaria, Ebola, food security, childhood obesity. His most recent position: special adviser to the UN Secretary-General on sustainable development and climate change.

Will his deep global experience attract enough support to make him the next DG over the two other robustly qualified candidates? The World Health Assembly will decide in less than a month.

In this 4-part Q&A with GHN, Nabarro makes the case for his candidacy, offers his 3 top priorities for WHO, spells out his strategy for effectively leading the organization and discusses the lessons he learned by leading the advisory group on reforming WHO’s outbreak and emergency response efforts.

“I am ready to deliver the changes that WHO needs,” Nabarro says.

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