WASHINGTON, Wed. Sept. 28, 2022
Today, member states of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) elected Dr. Jarbas Barbosa da Silva, Jr., to be the organization’s new Director. He takes office on February 1, 2023, succeeding Dr. Carissa F. Etienne of Dominica, who has led the organization since 2012.
“I want to thank not only the countries that voted for me, that supported me, but all the countries in this region. We work together with you. It’s not easy to follow Dr. Etienne’s leadership, but I do believe that with the same commitment that we have to strengthen health, to strengthen the quality of life, and in our vision we work together,” Dr. Barbosa da Silva said.
Da Silva has been serving as the Assistant Director of PAHO, and while he held this post he led the organization’s effort to increase equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines and enhance regional capacities to produce medicines.
“Dr. Jarbas Barbosa da Silva, Jr. received his medical degree from the Federal University of Pernambuco, Brazil, and specialized in public health and epidemiology at the National School of Public Health, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ) in Rio de Janeiro. He holds a Master’s degree in medical sciences and a Ph.D. in public health from the University of Campinas in São Paulo. Earlier in his career, he was Municipal Secretary of Health of Olinda, State Secretary of Health in Pernambuco, and Director of the National Center for Epidemiology (CENEPI) in Brasília,” a release from PAHO states.
He joined PAHO in 2007 and has served in various capacities before becoming Assistant Director.
This year, PAHO celebrates 120 years of service. Former directors include Dr. Mirta Roses Periago (2003-2013), Sir George Alleyne (1995-2003), Dr. Carlyle Guerra de Macedo (1983-1995), Dr. Héctor Acuña (1975-1983), Dr. Abraham Horwitz (1959-1975), Dr. Fred Soper (1947-1959), Dr. Hugh Cumming (1920-1947), Dr. Rupert Blue (1912-1920), and Dr. Walter Wyman (1902-1911).