Dr. Soumya Swaminathan to take over as Deputy Director General at WHO


ICMR chief Soumya Swaminathan, a globally acclaimed researcher on TB and HIV, is set to take charge of deputy director-general of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Geneva next month.

The Centre cleared Swaminathan’s name to take up foreign assignment as a deputy director general at WHO for about two years.

“The Appointment Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved grant of cadre clearance to Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Director General, Indian Council of Medical Research and Department of Health Research, to take up foreign assignment of the post of Deputy Director General for Programme (DPP), WHO Geneva, for the period from 1 Dec, 2017 to 18 Nov, 2019,” said an order.

Swaminthan’s appointment as DDP to WHO, elevates India’s stature globally. It is the second-highest position in the WHO.

Swaminathan, a paediatrician by training, is a daughter of agriculture scientist M S Swaminathan who is hailed as the father of the ‘Green Revolution’.

As she moves from her current position of the director-general of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to a global health arena, Swaminathan hopes that her stint at the WHO will be a good learning experience which she can later use in India.