The Global Fund Board has appointed Marijke Wijnroks as Interim Executive Director effective 1 June 2017. The four-year term of the current executive director, Mark Dybul, expires on 31 May. Dr Wijnroks will serve until a new executive director is selected by the Board and is able to begin.
The announcement was made in a news release issued by the Global Fund on 3 March.
Dr Wijnroks is currently Chief of Staff, a position which in effect makes her second in command to Dr Dybul.
“Dr Wijnroks brings an incisive degree of knowledge about internal operations at the Global Fund, where she oversees day-to-day work,” the Board said. Dr Wijnroks chairs decision-making groups such as the Management Executive Committee and Policy Committee when Dr Dybul is unavailable, and chairs the Grant Approvals Committee on a regular basis. She frequently represents the Global Fund at external events.
“Marijke is a highly effective leader and manager who can get things done,” said Dr Dybul. “She knows the Global Fund better than anyone and can steer our exceptional staff until a new executive director starts.”
According to the news release, in early 2017 Dr Wijnroks supervised the preparation of “transition memos” by each member of the Management Executive Committee, in anticipation of the hiring of a new executive director. She will continue those preparations until the Board makes a new selection.
Prior to joining the Global Fund, Dr Wijnroks served in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Netherlands as Ambassador for HIV/AIDS, and also Deputy Director of the Social Development Department. She has more than 30 years of experience in global health and development work, serving in government, at the U.N. and in civil society, and working in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe. She served on the Board of the Global Fund for several terms.
“Dr Wijnroks has deep experience in human rights, gender issues and reaching key populations. She is known as a passionate advocate and an irrepressible optimist, with a results-oriented mindset,” the news release stated.
Earlier in her career, Dr Wijnroks served as a medical coordinator for Médecins Sans Frontières in Uganda and as a doctor in South Sudan. She also spent five years in El Salvador as a technical advisor for PAHO/WHO, developing local health systems, and two years as a project manager in Bangladesh, focusing on maternal and child health.
Dr Wijnroks earned a medical degree from Maastricht University in The Netherlands and a degree in tropical health and medicine from the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium.
With respect to the new search for a permanent E.D., Seth Faison, Director of Communications at the Fund, told Aidspan that “the Board of the Global Fund is continuing its search for a new executive director, and will decide on all aspects of the process including a timeline.”