26 October 2020 | Press releases

Press Release on the appointment of Dr Philippe Duneton as Unitaid’s new Executive Director

Geneva – The Unitaid Executive Board is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr Philippe Duneton as Executive Director.

Dr Duneton played an essential role in the founding of Unitaid as well as in the numerous successes achieved by the organization since then. He has been acting Executive Director since March 2020 and has been instrumental in leading Unitaid’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Looking ahead, Dr Duneton’s vision for Unitaid emphasises the importance of simplifying health products and access to them for low and middle-income countries, to accelerate the global health transformation needed to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. While COVID-19 and Unitaid’s work as co-leaders of the Access to COVID Tools Accelerator will continue to be a major focus, extending Unitaid’s portfolio in diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and cervical cancer is at the centre of Dr Duneton’s ambitious plans for the organisation.

Chair of the Unitaid Executive Board, Marisol Touraine, said: “Philippe Duneton is the leader Unitaid needs to navigate the organization through the COVID-19 crisis and engage with the organizational and strategic changes the context requires. He has outstanding experience in innovation and access issues and a remarkable understanding of global health challenges. Under his leadership, Unitaid has mobilized swiftly and strategically its expertise and resources and positioned itself at the cutting edge of the global response against the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Dr Philippe Duneton said “It is a great honor for me to step up as the new Executive Director of Unitaid. The world is facing the most severe crisis in recent history. We should not lose sight of the fact that it is up to us at Unitaid to be part of the solution. We will work together tirelessly with our partners, countries, implementers, civil society and industries to continue to fulfill our mandate and defeat this pandemic.”

His passion for public health and patient access saw Dr Duneton’s career before Unitaid focus on HIV/AIDS and infectious diseases. He practiced Infectious Diseases medicine at La Pitié Salpétrière hospital in Paris and was twice advisor to the French Ministry of Health. He also led the French regulatory agency for medicines and health products and chaired the board of the European Medicines Agency.


Media contact: Martin HARVEY | +41 79 249 35 29 | harveym@unitaid.who.int

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