September 27, 2022

Dr. Carissa F. Etienne nominated for a second term to be Director of PAHO

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WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION                         
News and Public Information
News Release

Government of Dominica nominates Dr. Carissa F. Etienne for Director of PAHO
PAHO Member States will elect the new Director during the 29th Pan American Sanitary Conference, scheduled for 25-29 September 2017 in Washington, D.C.

Washington, May 3, 2017 (PAHO/WHO)— The Government of Dominica has nominated Dr. Carissa F. Etienne for a second term as Director of the Pan American Sanitary Bureau, the secretariat of the Pan American Health Organization.

The nomination was in a letter to the President of PAHO’s Executive Committee, Argentinian Health Minister Dr. Jorge Lemus, under the rules governing the election process for the position of Director of the Pan American Sanitary Bureau. May 1 was the deadline for countries to nominate candidates, and no other countries submitted nominations.

PAHO Legal Advisor Dr. Nancy Machado detailed the regulations and process in a meeting at PAHO yesterday, attended by H.E. Juan Jose Arcuri, Argentina’s permanent representative to the Organization of American States, and by Dr. Lemus via videoconference. Ambassador Arcuri noted that only one sealed envelope was submitted nominating a candidate, and certified the nomination of Carissa F. Etienne on behalf of Dr. Lemus.

PAHO Member States will elect the new Director during the 29th Pan American Sanitary Conference, scheduled for 25-29 September 2017 in Washington, D.C.

As required by PAHO’s Constitution, the Director will have a five-year term of office and cannot be re-elected more than once. The new term of office will begin on 1 February 2018 and end on 31 January 2023.

The process for electing the PASB Director began on 1 March 2017 when the President of the PAHO Executive Committee invited PAHO’s Member States, Participating States, and Associate Members to submit nominations for the Director’s post.

Each PAHO Member State, Participating State, and Associate Member may nominate only one candidate, who must be a citizen of a country of the Region of the Americas. The submission deadline for nominations was 1 May 2017. All documents supporting Dominica’s nomination will be translated into the Organization’s four official languages and made available to all PAHO Member States, Participating States, and Associate Members on or before 1 June 2017.

Dr. Carissa F. Etienne received her medical degree (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery- MBBS) from the University of the West Indies, Jamaica, and her Master in Science (MSc) in Community Health in developing countries from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London.

In her native Dominica, Dr. Etienne began her career as a medical officer at the Princess Margaret Hospital, where she eventually became the Chief Medical Officer. She also served as Coordinator of the National AIDS Program and Director of Primary Health Care Services.

She was Assistant Director of PAHO from July 2003 to February 2008. From March 2008 until 1 November 2012, Dr. Etienne served as Assistant Director-General for Health Systems and Services at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. During her tenures at WHO and PAHO, Dr. Etienne led the efforts to renew primary health care and to strengthen health systems based on primary health care, promoting integration and improved functioning of health systems. She has also spearheaded policy directions for reducing health inequalities and advancing health for all through universal coverage, people-centered care, the integration of health into broader public policies, and inclusive and participatory health leadership. She was elected Director of PAHO in September 2012 and began her five-year term on February 1, 2013.


The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) works with the countries of the Americas to improve the health and quality of life of their peoples. Founded in 1902, it is the world’s oldest international public health organization. It serves as the regional office for the Americas of WHO and is the specialized health agency of the inter-American system.


Frequently Asked Questions on the Election Process of the Director of the Pan American Sanitary Bureau

Key Deadlines in the Process for the Election of the Director

Governing Bodies


IMAGE: Dr Carissa F Etienne Dominica Vibes News

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