Opinion Piece Outlines 5 Criteria Next UNAIDS Executive Director Should Fulfill

The Lancet: Offline: Who should lead UNAIDS?
Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet

“Who is best qualified to lead an organization — UNAIDS — that has not only suffered severe reputational loss, but also faces threats to its continuing existence? … The next executive director of UNAIDS must fulfill five criteria. First, s/he must have the personal integrity to restore trust and credibility to a damaged organization — and to give governments confidence to invest in the AIDS response. Second, s/he must have proven scientific understanding of the AIDS epidemic in order to be able to use evidence as a platform for political advocacy. Third, s/he must have demonstrable ability to represent and engage with civil society. Fourth, s/he must be able to point to their commitment to key vulnerable populations. And finally, s/he must be able to show transformational leadership of a large organization. The Program Coordinating Board of UNAIDS met in Geneva … and ‘commended the strong competencies of all short-listed candidates.’ After interviews, a Committee of Cosponsoring Organizations will deliver no more than three names to the U.N. Secretary-General, António Guterres. It is no exaggeration to say that his choice may determine the future fate of the AIDS epidemic” (7/6).

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