Global Fund releases the names of four finalists for the position of executive director
On 23 October, the Global Fund released the names of the four candidates shortlisted for the position of executive director. They are (in alphabetical order):
Simon Bland, Director of the New York Liaison Office of UNAIDS, where he is helping to develop a strong “post-2015” approach that strengthens the synergies between the AIDS response and broader health, development and security issues. Bland served as the chair of the Global Fund Board from 2011 to 2013. Prior to that, he worked for three decades at the U.K. Department for International Development (DFID), including a stint as head of country operations in Kenya. Bland’s most recent position at DFID was Head of Global Funds Department. Bland represented the U.K. on the boards of the Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; UNITAID; and the Global Partnership for Education.
Frannie Leautier, former Senior Vice-President of the African Development Bank. Before that, Leautier was Executive Secretary of the African Capacity Building Foundation. This position followed a successful career at the World Bank, during which she spent time as Chief of Staff to President Wolfensohn, and ran the World Bank Institute, the Bank’s capacity building branch. Leautier was credited with helping to restructure the Institute for greater innovativeness, efficiency and delivery. A citizen of Tanzania, Leautier is currently Chairperson and Co-Founding Partner of Mkopa Private Equity Fund, which is focused on private equity investments in small and medium size enterprises in sub-Saharan Africa.
Peter Sands, former Group Chief Executive of Standard Chartered Bank from 2006 to 2015. Sands began his career as a consultant at the managing consulting firm McKinsey & Company. After leaving Standard, Sands has held a fellowship at Harvard, and immersed himself in a range of global health projects. From July 2015 to December 2016, Sands was Chair of the International Commission on a Global Health Risk Framework for the Future under the auspices of the National Academy of Medicine. Sands is also lead non-executive director of the Board of the U.K. Department of Health.
Anil Soni, Head of Global Infectious Diseases at Mylan, a global pharmaceutical company. Soni co-leads development, sales and partnerships for medicines to prevent and treat HIV, TB, malaria and hepatitis C. He was closely involved in the early years of the Global Fund as an adviser to then-Executive Director Richard Feachem, after which he served as E.D. of Friends of the Global Fight in Washington, D.C. He spent six years at the Clinton Health Access Initiative, latterly as its Chief Executive. Soni also did a stint as Senior Advisor for HIV at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The names of the finalists were included in a news release on the Global Fund website.
The Global Fund Board is scheduled to make a final selection at its meeting on 14-15 November 2017 in Geneva. The decision is expected to be taken on the first day of the meeting.
The finalists include “an eclectic mix of candidates with diverse backgrounds to replace former executive director Mark Dybul, who stood down in May after a four-year term," wrote Jenny Lei Ravelo in Devex . “Two of the candidates have extensive experience in the financial industry, while the other two have spent the bulk of their careers working in global health, including previous engagements with the Global Fund.”
The closing dates for applications for the executive director position was 21 July 2017. According to an update posted on the Global Fund website on 29 September, the candidate pool included 109 individuals. The Executive Director Nomination Committee selected 11 candidates for a first round of interviews, which took place on 25-26 September. Eight candidates were invited to a second round of interviews, scheduled to be conducted by the committee on 9-10 October.
In an earlier update, Ambassador Michèle Boccoz and Professor Vinand Nantulya, respectively Chair and Vice-Chair of the Nomination Committee, said that candidates would undergo rigorous due diligence and background checks.
According to the latest update, the Nomination Committee was scheduled to submit a final report to the Board just prior to a Board retreat scheduled for 24-25 October. At the retreat, the finalists were to be invited to make a presentation and to be interviewed – and also to hold informal meetings with Board members and alternates.
Following the Board Retreat and before the Board Meeting in November, the Global Fund will convene calls with Board constituencies, enabling the candidates and the constituencies to speak openly, answer questions and address issues of mutual concern. The Global Fund’s Staff Council will also be invited to participate in one call per candidate. The update states that throughout this phase, comments and input can be delivered through a dedicated inbox: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marijke Wijnroks has served as the Global Fund’s interim executive director since Mark Dybul stepped down from the post at the conclusion of his four-year term on at the end of May. This is the Board’s second attempt to fill the executive director position. Earlier this year, it abandoned its first effort, citing problems with the process (see GFO articles here and here).
Biographical information on the four finalists was taken from the latest Global Fund update on the E.D. selection process, supplemented by several Internet sources.