Director-General's Office

Deputy Directors-General

Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, Deputy Director General for Programmes

Dr. Soumya Swaminathan has been appointed Deputy Director General for Programmes (DDP). A paediatrician from India and a globally recognized researcher on tuberculosis and HIV, she brings with her 30 years of experience in clinical care and research and has worked throughout her career to translate research into impactful programmes. Most recently, Dr. Swaminathan was Secretary of the Department of Health Research and Director General of the Indian Council of Medical Research. From 2009 to 2011, she also served as Coordinator of the UNICEF/UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) in Geneva. She has sat on several WHO and global advisory bodies and committees, including the WHO Expert Panel to Review Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property, the Strategic and Technical Advisory Group of the Global TB Department at WHO, and as Co-Chair of the Lancet Commission on TB. She received her academic training in India, the United Kingdom and the United States and has published more than 250 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters

Jane Ellison, Deputy Director General for Corporate Operations

Jane Ellison has been appointed Deputy Director General for Corporate Operations. From the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, she has more than 30 years of experience in politics, commerce and change management in both the public and private sectors. Currently, she is Special Parliamentary Adviser to the United Kingdom’s Chancellor of the Exchequer. In addition, as a member of the UK parliament from 2010 to 2017, she served as the country’s Public Health Minister from 2013 to 2016 and as Minister of State at Her Majesty’s Treasury from 2016 to 2017. As Public Health Minister, she led the UK’s response to the 2014-16 Ebola outbreak and represented the UK government in World Health Assemblies. She also had Ministerial responsibility for delivering the DH2010 organizational transformation plan. During her time in Parliament, she also played a pivotal role in advancing health issues including founding the first All-Party Parliamentary Group on Female Genital Mutilation in 2011. Prior to her work in government, she worked in the private sector, where she was involved in several change management programmes. Ms Ellison has a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University, UK.

Key WHO Information

Director-General and senior management

Governance of WHO
WHO Constitution, Executive Board and World Health Assembly

Media centre
News, events, fact sheets, multimedia and contacts

International travel and health
Publication on travel risks, precautions and vaccination requirements

World Health Report
Annual report on global public health and key statistics