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International News

Global Fund Draws Fire Over Selection Process

September 7, 2006

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria has come under pressure to be more open in the selection process for its executive director. The appointment of that executive is being closely watched because the fund is at the center of attempts to offer universal access to HIV/AIDS medications.

A committee of the fund discussed whom to interview on Sept. 5 from a list drawn up by executive-search firm Odgers Ray & Berndtson. The selection process, designed to eliminate politics, has been criticized for lack of transparency.

The Lancet, in a recent editorial, called for public scrutiny and debate of the candidates to decide whether to seek "a big personality or a gifted administrator" to run the fund at such an important time in its development. The Lancet said a "perverse secrecy" in the selection process contrasts sharply with the transparency, accountability and dispassionate independence for which the organization stands.

Paul Zeitz, head of watchdog group Global AIDS Alliance, said, "It is critical this [candidate] pool includes a diverse range of competent candidates, including women and people from developing countries."

The nominations committee -- representing Global Fund recipients, donors and nongovernmental organizations -- will interview about 20 candidates, winnowed down from 334 applicants, Sept. 18-19. They will draw up a list of five final candidates to be assessed by the whole board. The final decision will be made in November, when Richard Feachem, current executive director, leaves.

The Global Fund has raised $10 billion from governments in the past four years to fight the three diseases.

Back to other news for September 7, 2006

Adapted from:
Financial Times (London)
09.04.2006; Andrew Jack

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
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