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The World in Medicine
December 20, 2006

WHO Head Named

JAMA. 2006;296(23):2791. doi:10.1001/jama.296.23.2791-b

Margaret Chan, MD, an expert on SARS and avian influenza, has been named the next director general of the World Health Organization (WHO). She will begin her term in early January, filling a vacancy left by the death of Lee Jong-wook, MD, MPH, on May 22, 2006.

Chan joined Hong Kong's Department of Health in 1978 and became its director in 1994. In that capacity, she led Hong Kong's response to outbreaks of H5N1 avian influenza and SARS. She became WHO's assistant director-general for communicable diseases in 2005.

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