24 Apr 2005

The Board elected Dr. Carol Jacobs of Barbados to serve as Chair for the next two years, and it elected Prof. Michel Kazatchkine to serve as Vice-Chair. They took over from Mr. Tommy Thompson, former US Secretary of Health and Human Services, and Dr. Helene Rossert, head of the French NGO AIDES, respectively, whose terms of office had expired.

Global Fund bylaws state that during the next two years, the Chair must come from the "recipient group" (that is, from the board members who represent developing country governments, NGOs from developing and developed countries, and communities living with the three diseases), and the Vice-Chair must come from the "donor group" (that is, from the board members who represent developed country governments, the private sector, and foundations). After two years, the requirements will reverse.

Dr. Jacobs is Chair of the National Commission for HIV/AIDS of Barbados; she has served for the past fifteen months as the Global Fund board member representing the Latin America and Caribbean Region.

Prof. Kazatchkine is France's Ambassador on HIV/AIDS and Transmissible Diseases. He is an immunologist who has been working in the field of AIDS since 1983. In 1988 he became the director of the French National Research Agency (ANRS), the world's second largest AIDS research program, and until recently he served as Chair of the Global Fund's Technical Review Panel.

Many board members had been very apprehensive when Tommy Thompson became Chair two years ago. They ended up being pleasantly surprised. As Chair, he did not have a vote and he did not show bias. Every board meeting that he chaired finished its work on time with every agenda item having been fully debated, which was not the case under the previous chair. As Mr. Thompson left the podium at the end of his last Global Fund board meeting, he received a standing ovation.

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