Dr. Carissa Etienne, a native of Dominica, will be the new Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). She was elected by PAHO Member States during the 28th Pan American Sanitary Conference.
Dr. Etienne will begin her five-year term on 1 February 2013, succeeding Dr. Mirta Roses Periago of Argentina, who has been PAHO Director since 2003.
Dr. Etienne is currently Assistant Director General, Health Systems and Services, of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva. From 2003 to 2008 she served as Assistant Director of PAHO, WHO’s Regional Office for the Americas.
Dr. Etienne holds degrees in medicine and surgery from the University of the West Indies as well as a master’s in community health and an honorary diploma in public health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
During her acceptance speech, Dr. Etienne said her vision for health in the Americas is one of societies free of inequality, where people have access to healthy social determinants and environments that allow them to have lives that are long, dignified, healthy, and productive. This includes access to universal health services without fear of being impoverished.