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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2006

Contact: HHS Press Office
(202) 690-6343

Statement by Mike Leavitt
Secretary of Health and Human Services
On the Nomination of Dr. Margaret Chan to the Post of
Director-General of the World Health Organization

I congratulate Dr. Margaret Chan on her nomination as the next Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO). The United States Government looks forward to working with Dr. Chan, and to continuing our close collaboration with the WHO Secretariat on a range of pressing public-health and scientific issues.

All of the candidates for the position of Director-General had impressive credentials, and the decision was a difficult one. The WHO is an important body dedicated to the health needs of every person in the world, and I am honored to have led the U.S. delegation to take part in this historic election.

Dr. Chan is a strong leader, with a proven record on managing health programs as WHO Assistant Director-General for Communicable Diseases and Representative of the WHO Director-General for Pandemic Influenza. And as Director of Health for Hong Kong, Dr. Chan led the successful response to the outbreaks of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and highly pathogenic avian influenza. I am confident she will ensure WHO’s role as the premier global health agency, guided by scientific excellence and is well- prepared to meet the many challenges it faces.

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Last revised: November 8, 2006