Haile Debas has informed me that he intends to step down as Executive Director of Global Health Sciences (GHS), which he founded in 2003, so that he may focus his energies on important strategic programs and activities. While I have accepted his decision with regret, I am pleased that Debas will continue to play an active role in GHS and for the campus as Senior Global Health Advisor.
Under Debas’ stewardship, over the past seven years and in over 28 countries, GHS has developed an impressive array of programs spanning education, research, capacity building, training and action. GHS has also become widely recognized for its leadership here in California and the U.S. through the creation of the UC-wide Global Health Institute and the North American Consortium of Universities in Global Health. We are extremely proud of these and other impressive achievements that have positioned UCSF as a strong leader and contributor to the field of global health.
I am delighted that Sir Richard Feachem has accepted an interim appointment as Executive Director of GHS effective September 1, 2010 for a period of up to 18 months. During that time, through international search, we will identify a leading figure in global health to take UCSF Global Health Sciences forward during the next decade. Sir Richard has informed me that he will not be a candidate in this search and selection process, but will continue to serve as Director of the Global Health Group within GHS while holding the interim appointment.
As many of you may know, Sir Richard is former Dean of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Director for Health Nutrition and Population at the World Bank, Founding Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, and Under Secretary General of the United Nations. Since his return to UCSF in 2007, he has done an outstanding job in building the Global Health Group at Global Health Sciences and working with Debas to promote the broader agenda of global health at UCSF. I am delighted that Sir Richard has agreed to serve in this interim capacity.
In closing, I would like to pay a warm and special tribute to Haile Debas. In his roles as Chairman of the Department of Surgery, Chancellor, Dean of the School of Medicine, and in numerous other ways, he has provided service to UCSF that is second to none. His contributions have been widely acknowledged through awards and prizes, both national and international. He is a jewel in the crown of UCSF, and I am proud and honored to work with him. I am delighted that he will be continuing to devote his vision, energy and charm to the cause of global health at UCSF.
Finally, I also wish to extend my thanks to all of those, across all schools and departments, who have worked so hard to build a strong global health portfolio at UCSF. I have no doubt that, with our many partners in the US and around the world, we will continue to make significant contributions in this most important area.
Susan Desmond-Hellmann, M.D., M.P.H.
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor