Global Fund Rebuffs US in Picking Leader
April 25, 2002
The directors of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria appointed a highly regarded British expert on international health to head the newly formed organization. By choosing Richard G.A. Feachem, a professor in the University of California system, the Global Fund's board rebuffed last-minute pressure by the US delegation to reconsider its candidate. That person, George E. Moose, an American diplomat with extensive experience in Africa, had been highly regarded by the directors, but was not among the three finalists for the job.
Feachem, 55, is director of the Institute for Global Health at the University of California campuses in San Francisco and Berkeley. Previously, he was a senior official of the World Bank's health program. He was dean of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the early 1990s. In addition to picking a director, the board is meeting to make its first round of grants from more than 300 applications submitted by governments and aid agencies in more than 100 countries. The awards will be announced today; a second round will be awarded in November.
The United States is the largest contributor to the fund, which was formed last year as the most concrete manifestation of the global movement demanding that state-of-the-art medical care, particularly for AIDS, be brought to the world's poorest people. The Global Fund is a new model for massive assistance to the world's poor. It is not formally allied with either a government or an international agency, such as the UN or the World Bank. Instead, it is an independent entity, run by representatives of rich and poor countries, that will disburse money based on an agenda it alone formulates.
People familiar with the fund said that about 600 candidates were nominated to head it. Many observers said the struggle over the appointment was the first big test of the fund's willingness to assert its independence.
04.25.02; David Brown
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.