Public Release: 

The Lancet calls for transparency in the selection of a new executive director for the global fund

EMBARGO: 00:01H (London time) Friday 1 September. 2006. In North America the embargo lifts at 18:30H ET Thursday August 31, 2006.


The secrecy surrounding the selection process for the next Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria could irrevocably damage the organisation's ability to improve global health, states an Editorial in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Initial plans for recruiting candidates for the Fund's next Executive Director had promised a fair and transparent process, free of the usual political wrangling that dogs UN appointments. Instead, however, the Global Fund Board's aversion to political campaigning has "resulted in a perverse secrecy pervading the proceedings", the Editorial states.

"Transparency, accountability, and dispassionate independence are the ideals on which the Global Fund most prides itself. It is therefore a perplexing hypocrisy that the selection process for a new Executive Director seems bereft of these values. The Global Fund's Board is right to acknowledge that the circus of political campaigning too often means poorly qualified people being installed in top positions for the wrong reasons. But it is a serious mistake to let this aversion erode its accountability", The Lancet warns.

As things stand, no one will know the names on the ten-person shortlist being discussed by the Global Fund Nomination Committee--an eight-person group comprising mainly Board members--this week.

The Editorial concludes: "To give the Executive Director selection process the credibility it deserves The Lancet calls on Carol Jacobs, chair of the Global Fund's Board, to: 1) make public the shortlist of candidates circulated this week; 2) ask candidates to publish an election platform and declare their intentions for the future of the Fund; and 3) ensure that the Board's deliberations are open to public scrutiny. Anything less would damage irrevocably the Fund's potential to improve global health."


The Lancet press office E) (As Udani Samarasekera is away until September 1, please send queries by e-mail only).

Notes to editors The Global Fund Nomination Committee is due to discuss a shortlist of 10 candidates on the 28th August. For more information on the Global Fund Executive Director recruitment process see:

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