Global Fund Board Appoints Former PEPFAR Head Mark Dybul As New Executive Director

The Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria on Thursday named as its new Executive Director Ambassador Mark Dybul, who helped create and then lead PEPFAR under former President George W. Bush, Intellectual Property Watch reports (Hermann, 11/15). According to the New York Times, “[h]e is respected by many AIDS activists in the United States, though there is some lingering controversy about his time in the Bush administration related to abstinence policies and anti-prostitution pledges imposed by conservative lawmakers as well as concerning strict licensing requirements for generic drugs” (McNeil, 11/15). The Financial Times reports Dybul said, “The most important thing is to look forward, not to the past. The U.S. funded more condoms than all other sources and 90 percent of all antiretrovirals are generics.” The newspaper notes, “Dybul’s appointment from a shortlist of four was adopted by the fund’s 26-strong board — composed of donor and recipient countries, non-governmental organizations, and business representatives — with just two abstentions, including France” (Jack, 11/15).

“Dybul has wide support and, given the economic downturn facing the major donor countries and concerns about the fund’s management, serious challenges ahead,” ScienceInsider writes, adding, “Dybul says he well recognizes that there has been a ‘financial contraction’ in world economies, but says the traditional donors have money and that he also will explore new financing possibilities.” According to the news service, Dybul said, “There will be money for organizations that actually are high value for money and high impact. … We’re at a unique moment in time where science has given us the ability to completely control these three diseases. That’s pretty compelling” (Cohen, 11/15). Former Global Fund Executive Director Michel Kazatchkine stepped down in January, and the Board appointed Gabriel Jaramillo, a former chairman and chief executive officer of Sovereign Bank, as general manager for one year to lead reform within the organization, the New York Times notes (11/15).

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