Dr. Carissa Etienne was today named Regional Director for the Americas of the World Health Organization (WHO) by the WHO Executive Board, which is holding its 132nd session this week in Geneva.
She was nominated for that position by the Regional Committee for the Americas in September 2012 and will take up her appointment for a five-year term on February 1, 2013.
Dr. Etienne was elected Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) by the countries of the Americas on September 19, 2012 during the 28th Pan American Sanitary Conference.
PAHO serves as the Regional Office for the Americas of WHO (WHO/AMRO).
The Regional Office for the Americas comprises 38 Member States stretching from the Arctic to the Tierra del Fuego. Puerto Rico is an Associate Member, while Spain and Portugal are Observer States in the Region.
Dr. Etienne will begin her five-year term as PAHO Director and WHO Regional Director on February 1.
“I believe strongly that good health is rooted in equity, universality, solidarity and inclusiveness,” she said in her acceptance speech. “I have learned that Universal Health Coverage is not only the best way to improve the health of every citizen in a country – but that it is entirely feasible.”
From 2003-2008, Dr Etienne served as Assistant Director of the Pan American Health Organization, WHO’s Regional Office for the Americas, and from 2008-2012 she was Assistant Director-General, Health Systems and Services, at WHO headquarters in Geneva.
She holds degrees in medicine and surgery from the University of the West Indies as well as a master’s in community health and an honorary diploma in public health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.